"The alien is the colonial figure par excellence. Remember The War of the Worlds
by H. G. Wells? It was about the fear of aliens taking over the world. In the United States for a long time, the fear of communism prevailed. There is a lot of talk about "bogus" asylum seekers in Britain now. The alien work is an attempt to explore racial prejudice in a humorous way, using an image of popular American cinema."
--Yinka Shonibare, 2001
Shonibare uses his art to playfully poke holes in the idea of national identity. Using figures that bring to mind space aliens as they often appear in the movies, the artist sets up a play on the idea of being an "alien" that, in the context of immigration and cultural identity, has an entirely different tone. Further, employing such fantastic and humorous figures to deal with heavy issues like racism and prejudice is one way Shonibare communicates the often cartoon-like way people represent cultures other than their own.