MOWAA Institute hosts inaugural seminar on West African archaeology
September 25 2023
The “HERITAGE FUTURES” event which took place at the Protea Hotel, brought together stakeholders from the Edo State Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Art, Culture and Tourism, as well as other government agencies, academics and practitioners of the art and heritage sector. It showcased outcomes of a collaborative project between the cultural non-profit and five secondary schools which began in August 2022, funded by Open Society Foundation. Speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary for Edo State’s Arts and Tourism said:
“The Ministry is currently implementing various initiatives aimed at arousing the interest of young people in the areas of art, culture and heritage management. One of the ways is with the introduction of a Culture Day, once a week where students will wear their traditional attire to school. We are also wish to organise major cultural events and exhibitions. As we continue to engage with EMOWAA, other strategic areas for partnership will be identified.”
The unrivalled centrepiece was a series of exhibits put together by students of Ogbe Grammar School, Phelim High School, Anglican Girls Grammar School, UniBenin Demonstration School and Federal Government Girls’ College, Benin. Designed as a DIY Museum project, each school team featured a student curator and four student guides, who worked together to ‘re-tell stories about their history and culture through objects and images’. Their installations were curated under the guidance of teachers, professionals from the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) and History students of University of Benin.
Tamilore (12 years), Phelim High School shared his experiences of the programme:
“Open Learning has helped me know more about our culture and history. It is important to teach and encourage citizens to value their culture. I’m really glad I was able to take part in it.”
“HERITAGE FUTURES” brought together the perspectives of students and arts practitioners in thoughtful compositions about the continued relevance of local heritage and its care. Themes ranged from traditional instruments deployed during the Ugho Royal Dance – or the Queen’s Dance – to the evolving cookware of Emwin Ukoni, the Bini Traditional Kitchen. Their presentations drew on earlier workshops run by EMOWAA that explored alternative ways of shaping future legacies and engaged students with contemporary debates around restitution, museum development and careers in heritage management.
In his closing remarks, Curator at the National Museum in Benin, Mark Olaitan said:
“I have found it intriguing to collaborate with EMOWAA on their Open Learning programme, which enabled my staff to contribute to various aspects of the initiative. This collaboration underscores the importance of working together to achieve common societal goals, particularly with regards to deepening the historical and cultural knowledge of students while sparking their interest in the heritage sector. I am eager to see the continued impact of such programmes in collaboration with EMOWAA and look forward to exploring further opportunities for partnership in the future.”
The exhibition will be open at the Protea Hotel until Sunday, 2nd of April, The programme was made possible through the Open Society Foundation and collaborations with several research and arts institutions.
September 25 2023
September 25 2023
August 31 2023
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