Nigerian Stylist, photographer, filmmaker, and creative director, Daniel Obasi has had an incredible and busy year but that doesn’t seem to be slowing the young creative down with the release of his new short film Udara In conjunction with Vlisco.
The synopsis of his new film:
After the loss of a dear one, two girls take a trip back to their hometown in an attempt to connect with the past. Ada is constantly haunted by dreams of herself in a different lifetime, [while] Nne, her sister, tries to guide and console her. Agu and Eze both stand on opposing ends of the conversation of religion. Agu [is] a crusader for tradition but is somehow still a church goer and Eze is stuck between proving himself traditionally as an Igbo man or following his father’s dreams to become a church priest. Ironically, Agu and Ada (both strangers) are caught up in the same mystical dream from a lifetime ago until they run into each other.
Obasi’s short film is an experience created visually to show an exploratory and spiritual world that highlights the complex diversity of Igbo culture through music, traditional beliefs and the relationship between Christianity and the traditional religion existing in the Igbo communities. Using themes from both the past and present, like the concept of ilo uwa, or reincarnation—”the belief that someone can be re-born in another lifetime”, Udara is another masterpiece from the creative multidisciplinarian.
It was important for me to produce more than a lookbook—the works created are an amalgamation of Igbo culture, present and forgotten. To have children, they could freely choose a man and the child(ren) would bear the name of the woman-husband. In other cases, a single wealthy woman could choose a wife and sometimes, more than one. In our story, the women still have just themselves, at easy in their home and confident in their identity.”, Yagazie Emezi she explains on Instagram.
Emezi’s concept for capturing Gozel Green and Fruche’s collections in the lookbook component of this project stems from the Igbo custom of same-sex marriages in pre-Christian Igboland and Uli drawing—a well-known traditional art form practiced by Igbo women that has gradually disappeared from the public eye. Emezi was able to connect with makeup artist Oragudosi Sophia Obiamaka to adorn the models in the lookbook with accurate Uli designs. Igbo women not only adorned their bodies with Uli using a semi-permanent dye from specific trees but also the walls of their homes. “Uli designs can, at times, be abstract while other designs represent aspects of daily life from animals, nature and home accessories,” Emezi explains. “With the entry of Western religion and forceful colonial powers, the practice was deemed as ‘primitive.’ Women were encouraged not to draw Uli designs on their bodies, but rather, on cloth. As result, this led to a sharp and steady decline of the art form”, OkayAfrica Reports.