Wax Print: 1 Fabric, 4 Continents, 200 Years of History Film

Aiwan Obinyan | UK 2018 | 1h37m


Surprised to learn from her Nigerian grandmother that ‘traditional’ African wax-printed fabrics were a colonial invention made in the UK and Holland, British-born filmmaker and fashion designer, Aiwan Obinyan, sets out on a journey across four continents to trace the two-hundred year history of this iconic textile.

From the intricate hand-crafted batiks of Indonesia to the cotton fields of North America and from European industrial mills to the bustling markets of West Africa, this is the story of how one fabric came to symbolise a whole continent, its people and their struggles. 

The screening of Wax Print will be preceded by screenings of African fashion short films, featuring:

Nomasonto – Sunday’s Best

Dir. Sizwe Mbiza, South Africa, 2018, 1m40s

Nomasonto - Sunday’s Best follows Nomasonto (which could be directly translated as ‘daughter of Sunday’), a young woman from the eastern townships of Johannesburg. Nomasonto is very passionate about design and fashion, stemming from the unofficial South African township practice of donning your best threads on a Sunday.

Gug’ Othandayo - A Tribute To The Air Max

Dir. Sizwe Mbiza, South Africa, 2019, 1m

This project aims to celebrate the women of Gug’ Othandayo – a theatre play that embodies the same ethos as the Nike Air Max. There are undeniable similarities between the women of Gug’ Othandayo and Nike Air Max. The Nike technology that is known for reforming itself and not being bound to the restrictions of age. Gug’ Othandayo is an attitude of being “young at heart” and expressive in the most honest way possible.

Kilon Shele Gan Gan

Dir. Dafe Oboro, Nigeria, 2018, 3m

A profile of the Nigerian youth and their fashion styles and a celebration of the country’s most vibrant and culturally diverse city - Lagos.

A Beautiful Struggle

Dir. Dafe Oboro, Nigeria, 2019, 13m

The Vlisco Group is one of the largest textile companies in West Africa, especially of the African wax print style. Collaborating with other art and textile establishments, the Group is seeking to showcase the creativity of African wax textiles and fashion. Nigerian filmmaker Dafe Oboro was commissioned to showcase his talent and Vlisco in the vivid fashion film A Beautiful Struggle. The film showcases a blend of music and fashion, taking in the sights and sounds of Lagos.

The screening will be followed by a discussion led by Sally Tuckett (History of Art, University of Glasgow), with Sarah Worden (National Museums Scotland), artist and researcher Sequoia Barnes, textile designer Kezia Lewis, artist Gameli Trodzro, and filmmaker Aiwan Obinyan.


Past Showings

Glasgow / Sat 2 Nov 2019 / 6pm-9pm
Sliding Scale / GOMA Gallery / Book Now