Ifeoma Fafunwa is the founder and creative director of iOpenEye, a Nigerian production company driving social change through performance art. She recently produced the popular stage play HEAR WORD! Naija Woman Talk True, a collection of monologues based on true-life stories of Nigerian women, aimed at challenging social, cultural, and political norms that limit the potential and contribution of women.
During her fellowship, Fafunwa intends to write and produce a socially transformative stage play that explores and seeks solutions to the extremely homophobic environment that is Nigeria today. Utilizing theatre informed by research of current laws, cultural norms, and true stories from the Nigerian LGBT community, she is exploring the roles that women and religion have played in the systemic propagation of this culture of intolerance. By highlighting the many roles and relationships of Nigerian women, Fafunwa aims to portray the unique power women possess in acting as societal change makers.
Fafunwa directed one of Nigeria’s cultural submissions for the London 2012 Olympics, and her work has been featured at LIFT, London’s festival for new forms of theater. In 2016, HEAR WORD! premiered internationally in Cambridge with support from Harvard University and the American Repertory Theatre, and then was staged at the Frascati theatre in Amsterdam. Fafunwa has been a visiting scholar at the Radcliffe Institute and is a fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She runs a pro bono performance art workshop building capacity for young female artists and university students in Nigeria.