Visual Art: One student’s statement on her Nigerian/American identity

temitope artBy Temitope Odedoyin (Senior)

I was inspired by my inner confusion and the situation of Nigeria. When I think with my head, I know am a Nigerian but the way I walk through life is like an American. Therefore, it became hard for me to answer the question “who are you? “ Also I saw a picture of a girl carrying the map of Africa, this picture answered my question that of course I can be both American and Nigerian, I can be myself. Nigeria’s societal ideology also was an inspiration because most Nigerians that are based in Lagos, especially the teenagers’, they undervalue Nigerian culture. Hence, the person carrying the map is a teenage girl as all countries are referred to in a female manner. The girl carrying the Nigerian map is really ironic because most Nigerian teenagers do not carry their culture boldly, rather we try to be westernized (hence the American flag on her shoes). Still I am confused on if this is wrong or right.

While painting, I was quite precise about the end goal of my artwork. The medium I used was water color because it metaphorically symbolizes how Nigerian teenagers are making their culture drown, all in the name of being “westernized”.

4 thoughts on “Visual Art: One student’s statement on her Nigerian/American identity

  1. I love this piece, beautiful representation of staying with your country as you move to another. The artistry is beautiful and the explanation is good. I do agree people change and become westernize when they move to America. The infusion of both cultures is shown from an interesting perspective, a side not always seen.
    love Nibs


  2. Your painting inspires me to paint a drawing of my own to represent my country and it’s culture. I really like the meaning and reason behind your painting. It is indeed a deep and touching piece, It makes me think about the time when I was confused with who I really am and which part of me I wanted to be more, American or Chinese, I think your painting expresses a lot of internal feelings and thoughts that many can relate to, which is why I find much interest in it.


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