Peju Alatise (born 1975) is a Nigerian artist, poet, writer and a fellow at the National Museum of African Art, part of the Smithsonian Institution.

Her work was exhibited at Venice Biennale’s 57th edition, themed Viva Arte Viva (Long Live Art). Peju was one of three Nigerian artists at the Biennale. They were the first Nigerians to appear at the art exhibition. Her work was a group of life size figures based on the life of a servant girl.

On African art:

In my opinion, art from Africa remains still largely burdened by negative social, political and economic realities from its mother continent, hence, is unable to be judged by its own merit and without negative bias or condescending patronage. However, Africans must take the responsibility upon themselves to project their own art and learn to value them as one of their greatest cultural exports.

On her use of humor:

Nigerians in general like a good laugh and would deal with the gravest of issues with humor. They will laugh at the deplorable state of education; make a joke of the nepotistic governance of the president and his wife; draw cartoons of the pedophilic senator who decides what becomes of our constitution. Nigerians are known for laughing at their circumstances rather than changing them. This syndrome is what FELA calls ‘suffering and smiling.’ Yes, I need to use this humor to make my subject-matters approachable.