Musah Yussif: Experiencing COVID-19 Through Art

Meet the Ghanaian artist who illustrated the lockdown through a series of captivating drawings.

By Nubuke Foundation

The Room X (2020) by Musah YussifOriginal Source: Nubuke Foundation

The Room 

As the lockdown associated with the COVID-19 pandemic came into full force, Musah Yussif saw the parallels in a film that he had seen. With the series titled ‘The Room,’ Yussif uses his confinement as a stage and his routine as a performance. We see in the series, the mundane things that have been our lives.

The Room 9 (2020) by Musah YussifOriginal Source: Nubuke FoundationNubuke Foundation

"The idea of this work came during the lockdown. It was influenced by a movie that I had watched. Titled ‘The Room’, it was about a young lady who was trapped in a room by a kidnapper."

The Room 2 (2020) by Musah YussifOriginal Source: Nubuke FoundationNubuke Foundation

"My work relates to the situation during the lockdown where we were not allowed to go out or be in the midst of a group of people for our own betterment."

The Room 3 (2020) by Musah YussifOriginal Source: Nubuke FoundationNubuke Foundation

"It [the series of drawings] contradicts the influence from the movie that I watched where the woman didn’t have any choice when she was kidnapped. We had a choice but because of the situation of the pandemic we were supposed to stay home."

The Room 5 (2020) by Musah YussifOriginal Source: Nubuke FoundationNubuke Foundation

"That period also gave us the chance to reflect on our lives. Even though it was a problematic period for all humans, in a way we were all facing similar problems where we must confine ourselves for our own safety."

The Room I (2020) by Musah YussifOriginal Source: Nubuke FoundationNubuke Foundation

"The whole work is about me posing in different states when I had nothing to do other than to do the usual things like to sleep, read a book, or browse the web. It became a routine. Even though it was boring, it gave us the opportunity to reflect on ourselves, moving us away from the usual daily active activities."

The Room 6 (2020) by Musah YussifOriginal Source: Nubuke FoundationNubuke Foundation

"Usually, in my works I take out the setting and replace it with patterns but I excluded that and included the actual space that I existed in. That's the room and you could see the actual state of my room and the things I normally did. Compared to my other works which are more fictional, the images in these works are almost realistic. Realistic in the sense that, I am portraying the current state in which I exist in."

The Room 8 (2020) by Musah YussifOriginal Source: Nubuke FoundationNubuke Foundation

"In a way, I also try to capture things people could relate with in this period."

The Room 4 (2020) by Musah YussifOriginal Source: Nubuke FoundationNubuke Foundation

"The images also have this silent state where you can see the relationship between the subject, the setting and activities the subject engages in. I think it also opens up different interpretations. It is a self-portrait though. But it reflects the things that are going on in real life."

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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