we are more than bodies is about third culture kids—children of immigrants who grew up in a place different from where their parents grew up—who are Queer, specifically looking at Nigerian Americans. Many of us try to hold onto as much of Nigerian culture as our parents can give us while living in America, but what happens when that culture seeks to kill us? Homophobia is steeped in Nigerian culture by way of religion and colonization. Carrying their conservative, colonial views on homosexuality over the Atlantic Ocean, immigrant Nigerian parents continue to practice homophobia as part of Nigerian culture and reject the acceptance of Queer people citing queerness as a 'western' concept. In "She Called Me Woman: Nigeria's Queer Women Speak", the editors write


“the second type of erasure is the rewriting of the rich histories and cultural traditions of diverse sexualities and gender norms in the land now known as Nigeria. Living outside of gender norms and heterosexual relationships, or fluidity in gender identity, is not new. They may not be the same as those reflected in the language, films, and TV shows of the west, as well as contemporary Nigerian cultural industries, but they are part of Nigerian history, culture, and tradition, not in opposition to it.”


Looking at the effects of the erasure of this rich history on Nigerian Americans who already exist on the outskirts of two cultures, coupled with Queerness, we are more than bodies explores the internal, intergenerational, and familial conflicts cultural homophobia causes Queer Nigerian Americans by combining photography and digital design to create digital collages.


The digital collages were formed from photographs of the muses' favorite body part(s). I took photos of body parts to avoid exposing their faces while still showing a physical part of them—an undeniable testament to their existence and story. Each collage contains the Nsibidi (a pre-colonial Nigerian language) symbol for love because that is what Queerness is. Lastly, I interviewed each muse with questions about home, family, culture, identity, and community. 


*select work


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