The exhibition will stimulate conversations on Nigeria’s journey to nationhood through a showcase of historical portraits, artefacts and paintings that chronicles Nigeria’s history from the 1914 amalgamation, through the 1960 independence up to the contemporary times. .
While highlighting the wonders and woes of the most populous black country in the world, it will use creative masterpieces to excite the imagination of people.
According to Akin Laniyi, Project Director of ‘Nigeria 1914’, the art event is part of activities to commemorate Nigeria’s 62nd independence anniversary.
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He disclosed that it has received the endorsement and support of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and other relevant bodies.
“Nigeria 1914 exhibition is a government-endorsed educational exhibition of pictures, portraits, artifacts and paintings based on Nigeria’s history, milestones, icons and culture from the 1914 amalgamation and through 1960 independence to more recent times.
“We felt that at a time like this, Nigeria is in need of such a project because it will provoke our consciousness as a people to reflect on our great history and the much-needed social order.
“It will hold for eight days at the Transcorp Hilton, starting on our independence day, and it is aimed at promoting our education, nationhood and good things about us as a richly diverse people.
“Each day of the exhibition has been titled and named after a reputable foundation for good cause in Nigeria to encourage and appreciate their work, especially in education.
“The exhibition will host the public and dignitaries from all walks of life, with the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed as the Special Guest of honour,” he said.
Laniyi said that Nigerian artists drawn from across the country, including Kola Ogunwale, will have their iconic pictures and paintings showcased at the exhibition.
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According to him, members of the diplomatic community, top government functionaries, patriotic Nigerians drew from both the public and private sectors and stakeholders in the creative industries will attend the exhibition.
He said special guests expected to visit the exhibition include former president Goodluck Jonathan, former vice president Atiku Abubakar, Engr. Jide Adeniji and Prince Arthur Eze as the Grand Patron of the exhibition.
Others include the Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Alh. Nura Kangiwa and that of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe, among others.
He added that since the project was geared towards promoting national unit and common history, the exhibition will also be staged around major cities in Nigeria including Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos.
Laniyi further said that plans were underway to take the exhibition on a global tour alongside the currently being produced Nigeria 1914 Movie.
“It is to present Nigeria, her people, opportunities and potential on the global stage through iconic pictures, paintings, artefacts and portraits.
“The Nigeria 1914 project will expose the majesty of the unknown aspects of the Nigerian story and a way of life that will resonate and touch hearts and consciences all over the world unforgettably.
“Poised to be one of such successful and impactful projects of its kind, this iconic, archival, spectacularly entertaining and educational work is recommended for every Nigerian and family at home and abroad and all well-meaning good friends of Nigeria* all around the world,” he said.
It will be to ultimately accessed and viewed via the dedicated YouTube channel and all major online and offline (TV) platforms, a dedicated project website and websites of already partnering government agencies.
Laniyi recalled that the Nigeria 1914 project held a first public presentation and media roundtable in February on 2020 at the Moxion, Maitama, Abuja, thereby launching the project and its website for public awareness.
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Photo Credit: Getty