Emeka Ogboh
  -  Art   -  Sipping on stories: Emeka Ogboh crafts politics into gin

At the Mona Foma festival in Tasmania, the artist distills migration narratives to challenge the status quo

‘STOP THE BOATS’ is also the starting point for the latest project by Lagos- and Berlin-based artist Emeka Ogboh. Boats (2024) is one of the highlights of Mona Foma, the summer festival of Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art, and it will launch on February 15 with a sharing feast. Including an exhibition and a culinary experience, the project is centered around the release of a new drink, a gin, infused with Nigerian and Tasmanian botanicals and produced in collaboration with local distillers Taylor & Smith. Ogboh has long been refining the genre of drink manufacture as a politically charged artistic statement. The beers he’s co-produced, with brewers from Marseille to Houston, activate a sense which is fundamental in the transmission of any cultural heritage – taste – and act as a vessel for his sophisticated storytelling. Informed by rigorous research into local communities, these projects have tackled important questions around visibility, migration, and creolization. The gin part, though, is a first.