The Vendors series hones in on engrossed faces of daily readers of newspapers across cities in Nigeria otherwise comically known as ‘Free Readers Association of Nigeria’ (FRAN). Every day as they commute, irrespective of cultural or social background, they gather in public spaces (vendor stands) to peruse and discourse the newspaper headlines, news and other matters of public interests from the local and international scenes.
These readers are hampered by their inability to purchase a newspaper that cost as much as N250 hence some pay a paltry sum of N50 to read any newspaper of their choice. The public spaces where these readers converge, are mostly found at major bus stops, under bridges and points of intersections. It promotes human interaction and brings information closer to the people therefore making them incubators of information/knowledge that helps to nurture the cultural, economic, social and political developments that challenge the way we think and live.
The series is also an insight into the global decline of newspapers due to technological advancement – the impact of the internet. It also explores another noticeable trend of ‘accidental audience’ that occurs whenever there is a public incident. The ephemerality of this pop-up cultural phenomenon is common within the context of African public space engagement. The crave for information caused by a tensed polity and cynicism draws people, in unscripted performances, to these spaces of social, cultural and political re-engagements.