Abuja, Nigeria

Wilfred Ukpong's film 'Earth Sounds' on view at Institut Français du Nigéria

19 March - 29 July 2022

Wilfred Ukpong's film Earth Sounds, supported by Autograph, is currently being shown in a new exhibition of the artist's work - addressing historical and contemporary socio-environmental issues in the Niger Delta


Wilfred Ukpong is an interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, researcher, and activist. A long-term collaborator with Autograph, we supported the artist in 2021 to produce a new 30-minute, performance based film work. Earth Sounds was  shown as part of Ukpong's new solo exhibition BLAZING CENTURY 1, organised by the Institut Français du Nigéria.

In Earth Sounds, the artist, flanked by two masked women carrying heraldic black flags, embarks on a ritual journey across a narrow, sheltered waterway. He takes a shamanic role, invoking spiritual energies to protect the endangered ecological landscape from crude oil spillage in the environmentally devastated oil-rich Niger Delta.

The Niger Delta incorporates Ukpong’s homeland in Southern Nigeria. Once a major producer of palm oil for British colonisers, the territory is considered the mainstay of the Nigerian economy for its large oil reserves and its rich biodiversity due to the presence of rivers, mangroves, freshwater forests, and marine estuaries. In recent years, the region has been at the centre of environmental justice campaigns, with concerns over pollution caused by major spills and flares at the hands of oil and gas industry giants.

Earth Sounds was created for Autograph's 2021 event in collaboration with the artist, Composing a Cause, which used film, speculative soundscapes, performance and conversation to build a visual and sonic relationship with the Niger Delta.

visit the exhibition


Find out more on the Institut français du Nigéria website


52 Libreville Street
Wuse II, Abuja, Nigeria

past exhibition

This exhibition is now closed. View our current exhibitions here

watch Earth Sounds

about the artist

Wilfred Ukpong

is an interdisciplinary artist who incorporates a studio-based artistic practice with connective social engagement, tackling pertinent social issues with community participation and intervention. His long-term project in the Niger Delta, Blazing Century 1, received a special grant from the Prince Claus Fund and has been exhibited in international group shows in London, Lorient and The Hague. His film Future World won the Golden City Gates Excellence Award at ITB Berlin in 2018. The film has also been screened at Mash Johannesburg and David Krut Projects, as well as to the Senate of Nigeria in order to encourage a dialogue about environmental change in the Niger Delta. Ukpong is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Oxford Brookes University, and he received his BA and Master’s Degree from Ecole Supérieure d’Art Lorient, France.

Follow the artist on Instagram.

Banner Image: Wilfred Ukpong, Earth Sounds [film still], 2021 © and courtesy of Wilfred Ukpong and Blazing Century Studios.

Images on page: 1) Courtesy Wilfred Ukpong. 2) Wilfred Ukpong, At the Centre of the Delta, I Come Settled to Bear Your Grand Entry, 2017 © and courtesy of the artist. 3) Wilfred Ukpong, Are My Dreams too Bold for the Carbon Skin I Bear, 2017. © and courtesy the artist. 4) Wilfred Ukpong, At the Left Side of the Delta, I Stand Tall to Hail Your Grand Entry, 2017. © and courtesy the artist.