Adeyinka Yusuf

Photographer and Film-maker
     
Sleeping on Duty
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Nationality: Nigerian
Biography: Adeyinka is a photographer based in Lagos, Nigeria. In 2013, he started Street Shooters NG, a street photography collective and the following year was selected to lead a photo-walk as part of the Nigerian Photography Expo and Conference (NIPHEC).... read on
Public Story
Sleeping on Duty
Credits: adeyinka yusuf
Updated: 04/16/21
If you are a certain kind of social media user, you have come across a series of photos showing couples sleeping: here he almost flees the bed; there she snuggles close, digging into his sides. The idea is simple: sleeping positions of couples say something about the state of a relationship. 

In these series of photos, no such easy conclusions can be made except one—the Nigerian life is a hard one. Or perhaps these Nigerian lives are not easy. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is between seven to nine hours, but these times can be hard to come by for the lower income class. Those hours must count as currency. 

And yet, save for what looks like painful configurations of the human body—along with the possibility of harm and health risks—these men and women captured in this series at rest are normal. Who hasn’t had an open mouth during an involuntary nap? Whose hands haven’t sheltered their own torsos during sleep? Who hasn’t wished for such dignified arrangement of limbs while asleep? 

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