Interdependence: We Need to Talk About Power with Lubaina Himid

The first Interdependence talk at MIF to discuss the big topics in society today. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, David Olusoga, Lubaina Himid, Jason Hickel, Andrew O'Hagan, and Deanna Rodger tackle Power.

Interdependence: We Need to Talk About Power with Lubaina Himid

Turner Prize nominee, Lubaina Himid shared with us a story about asking for money for a project from whoever has the purse strings.

She admits that she often thinks about living and dying and doing both.

You need money to make work. Simple fact. Himid has ideas for an installation but requires a bit of money. Naturally, she needs to tell the powerful banker why she needs money for an installation. It will explore the contributions that Africans have made to economic Europe. Slaves had stories and she felt the need to tell them to the world. This was hard because Family history is worth more if it is recorded and traceable.

In a number of poetic verses she tries to regale us with stories that, more than sharing records, share what impact these people had and what labour did to their identities. My name is x, they call me y. I used to do z, now I do a, but I still b.

The story hammers home the importance of naming money, of the histories of any and all figures, giving people voices, distilling individuality and giving a stage to stories.

When asked how she sees her work within society and politics, she offers a fundamental work ethic. When people shout and tell her what to do, she tells them to go and look at what she does and why. The reason her art is activism is in order to do what small things she can.

When asked if the fame – coming from her Turner Prize nomination – makes her, and people generally, more powerful, she gives a humble response. Like movie stars, she'd like to think it hasn't made a difference. But at the same time, it's all relatively new. She has asked some audacious things from powerful men in suits so we'll have to see how those requests pan out.


Bhavesh Jadva

Bhavesh Jadva Voice Team

Former Media Editor on Voice and former Arts Award Editor on AAoV covering film, TV, music and comedy.

We need your help supporting young creatives

Recent posts by this author

View more posts by Bhavesh Jadva


  • Luke Taylor

    On 7 July 2017, 10:17 Luke Taylor Contributor commented:

    It's amazing how much "money" can equally make it seem like you can buy the world, and bring you straight back down to harsh reality...

Post A Comment

You must be signed in to post a comment. Click here to sign in now

You might also like

Hazlitt Pride Cabaret

Hazlitt Pride Cabaret

by Eleanor Anscombe

Read now