The struggling Nigerian economy, evident everywhere in the form of vacant business premises and widely divergent official and black-market rates for the naira, stands in stark contrast with a newly invigorated cultural scene. Late last year Lagos witnessed the inaugural edition of Art X Lagos, West Africa’s first international art fair. The fair is the brainchild of Tokini Peterside, a young Lagosian businesswoman who previously managed other people’s projects in the culture and luxury industries and wanted to strike out on her own. She looked at the Nigerian art market and felt it needed a central meeting point, the way SA has the Johannesburg and Cape Town art fairs, and Senegal has the Dakar Biennale. Fourteen exhibitors took part in the event, including two galleries each from Ghana and SA, and one from Mali. Bisi Silva, a driving force of the Lagos art scene for the past decade, served as the fair’s artistic director, guiding gallery selection and putting together the talks and...

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