The Illicit Gin Institure is a radical thinktank created by Zina Saro-Wiwa, based out of UCLA’s Center for African Studies where Saro-Wiwa is Artist-in-Residence. The thinktank is a vehicle for an exploration of the history and future of African spirits often termed “illicit” by colonial powers as well as a metaphoric exploratory engine for economic, environmental and spritual spheres. The birth of Nigerian “illicit” gin is intimately connected with the Niger Delta and forms a buried part of the region’s rich and troubled history with the global economy. The project conducts research and expresses its findings as (i) an environmental podcast which looks at food, drink, politics, spirituality, nature, philosophy and all the connections between these things; (ii) contemporary art installations (iii) live events and performances where Covid allows; (iv) a conceptual craft distillery and (v) writing, lectures and publications. Please reach out to us via our contact page to learn more about this project and find out how you can get involved, give a donation or invest. The project is administered by UCLA and is the brainchild of artist, Zina Saro-Wiwa.