Since 2009, Invisible Borders has organized road trips across African cities and borders, and recently European cities. Taking off from Lagos, their destinations have included: Bamako, Dakar, Addis Ababa, Libreville, and Sarajevo. The journey has taken them through cities and towns known only to the wayfarer and vagrant—Diema, Ekok, Mamfe, Ferkessedougou, Bitam, Maiduguri, Kousseri, Gamboru-Ngala, Kidira, Ekok, Kayes, for instance—and through ordeals faced by illegal migrants. An “invisible border” has not, in the course of the project, suggested the absence of borders, bureaucratic bottlenecks, or corrupt officials. But it has suggested an experiment in the blurring of border-lines through movement: the rolling of tyres, the trudging of feet, the body of artists’ in constant motion.
Is there any value in reflecting on habitual occurrences? These occurrences, some might argue, is the result of a redoubtable colonial legacy, the bustling attempts at survival in chaotic metropolises, or perhaps the characteristic underdevelopment that gives Africa its peculiar narrative. The work of Invisible Borders since inception has appropriated ordinariness quite differently.
Artists and writers who have traveled as part of the project did not insist on showing everyday spaces—like markets, streets, restaurants, roads, and malls—as places in need of repair or development. But as places where life occurs without judgment, with mirth, theatricality, and beauty. This approach has not lessened the severity of the continent’s contradictions. It has proposed a subtler, more graceful look.
In this collection, we share selected photographic oeuvres from various editions Road Trip accompanied by captions that elaborate specific contexts and reflections referenced by the images.
Note: To access captions, click on the "i" (info) icon at the base of the image slide.