Fawaz Oyedeji – Yours In Arms
Yours In Arms explores how surrounding circumstances has shaped human behaviour of student-cadets in Nigeria. The establishment of para-military organisation in institutions dates back to the Nigerian Second Republic (1976) under a militia regime headed by General Olusegun Obasanjo to coax more educated fellows into the army. However, since that period, the human environment has been transformed with amazing speed under the influence of several revolutions and government decisions, which have simultaneously affected the sciences and the technologies, economies and political relations, demography and social structures of the Nation.
In modern times, the degree of pressure from being both CADET and STUDENT is considered an exhausting task. At Yaba College Of Technology alone, out of over 16,000 student enrolment, statistics shows that approximately only 0.2% usually chose to combine this extracurricular activity with school work and personal life.
I choose this topic because I was a member of the organisation. After finishing my service, It became clear how much I have disconnected myself from their conventions over the years, rather, embrace it. Mostly because I found it extremely hard adhering to their gruelling routines, while simultaneously managing other drastic social changes in my personal life.
My goal with this body of work is to provide a rich source of information on this subject by associating its conventions with the contemporary situation of the West African country being that it was established during an era when Nigeria was still at the earliest stage of the political system of Nationalism. To a larger extent, by connecting with these cadets and photographing their realities both vigor and vulnerable phases, I am exploring the truth and fiction of military personnels all over the world.
My next step is advancing inland of Nigeria from the south-west, to visit more states where cadet’s operations are active, as well as, exploring the distinct forms of social activities and ideologies attributed to each spaces I visit. In addition, researches would be carried out to source out documents and materials tracing back the activities of this organisation to the past. – Fawaz Oyedeji
It’s just so great that there’s a body out there acknowledging the humanistic qualities I was able to consciously and unconsciously present in my photographs.
Fawaz Oyedeji (b. 1997) is a documentary photographer based in Lagos, Nigeria.
He studied Mass Communication at Yaba College of Technology, graduating in 2016. Fawaz is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts and Education’s degree in History Education at University Of Lagos.
His passion is to use photographs as a means for examining important social and historic issues, particularly those related to local communities in Africa.