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Amanda Iheme. *Casa de Fernandez—Death—14* from The Way of Life. 2015. Inkjet print, sheet: 40 × 60" (101.6 × 152.4 cm). Courtesy of the artist. © Amanda Iheme

Amanda Iheme. Casa de Fernandez—Death—14 from The Way of Life. 2015 356

Inkjet print, sheet: 40 × 60" (101.6 × 152.4 cm). Courtesy of the artist. © Amanda Iheme

Artist, Amanda Iheme: My name is Amanda Iheme, and I am an architecture photographer and a clinical psychologist that lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.

The body of work that you're looking at is called “The Way of Life.” The work started out documenting colonial buildings because they were getting torn down. I then had to take a step back and look at the work, and I found an entirely different narrative. I wanted people to see that there is something important that buildings have to tell us about who we are.

As human beings, there are so many changes that we go through. You go through creation, you go through a transition, you go through stagnation. To heal yourself sometimes requires a restoration. And then you have death, and the memories that are left behind. Buildings, the same as humans, have the experience of change.

The image for death is Casa de Fernandez. Casa de Fernandez was built in 1846. It was the house of an Afro-Brazilian slave trader called Mr. Fernandez. When slavery was abolished, the house was sold to a Yoruba man called Ọláìyá. As time went on, the upstairs area was a residential area and downstairs they had stores. So, in that same place where people were held as slaves in chains before they were taken across the Atlantic, 200 years after that now, people have markets inside here. Can you just see how time moves?

Casa de Fernandez was torn down in 2016 and so the house was dead. But that was a house that had so much history, that was tied to families that lived in Brazil that came to Lagos, Nigeria, to find their roots and make sense of where they're from. So there was a lot of heritage. And it was just discarded like it was nothing. It was a very sad thing to experience.