FG, British Council present arts installation, empower women
The British Council’s International Organisation for Cultural Relations and Educational Opportunities, with support from the Federal Government presented its building wrap, a visual art installation project aimed at empowering women in Nigeria.
The building wrap was part of the project of the Council tagged “Go Woman Go” to train women in arts and textile making.
The wrap was displayed at the headquarters of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development building, currently under construction in Abuja.
Laura Aldridge, the British artist who initiated the project, said she mentored 35 women based in the FCT in collaboration with Nike Arts Centre.
Aldridge said “the project is beyond just coming to Nigeria to wrap a building and make some pots, but more about the organic process involved in doing all of these and the things that happen around it.”
Connie Price, the Country Director of the British Council, said that the project was to promote the idea of arts in public spaces to stimulate awareness and debate about how public arts could provide new ways to experience the city.
Price added that the Council had other projects in collaboration with Nigeria to promote fashion, design, theatre and other areas of the creative industry.
“Since September 2015, there have been more than 30 projects and over 340 events in arts, fashion design, theatre, dance, music, literature and film throughout Nigeria, showcasing the country’s creativity in the UK.
“It is part of the two public art installations done with British Council’s UK/Nigeria 2015-16 season, which aims to build new audiences, create new collaborations and strengthen relationships between the two countries.
“The other public art project is an exhibition of Wind Sculptures at Ndubuisi Kanu Park in Ikeja, Lagos.”
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, commended the Council for the initiative, adding that it could promote tourism in the country.
Mohammed said that the Federal Government was working toward creating training centres in the six geo-political zones of the country where women could be taught in trade related issues.
According to him, most marriages in the country fail due to the lack of economic independence of the women.
He noted that the project, when sustained, could also assist in reviving the textile industry in the country.
Mrs Aisha Alhassan, the Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, said that the project would empower women to sharpen their skills in textile making, tie and dye.
She said the project would engineer the culture of tie and dye in Nigeria, as well as provide the beneficiaries with new techniques to develop their skills.
Alhassan, who said that some institutions had intervened in resuscitating the textile industry but the outcome was minimal,
added that `the fading away of our fabrics was compounded by inadequate materials and facilities for proper practice of tie and dye.
“The finished products also received poor patronage.”
She lauded the British Council for `the initiative to revamp the industry through its project, noting that government could not do it alone.
She then urged private entities and international agencies to support the country and assured that government would ensure an enabling environment for the development of the creative industry. (NAN)
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