Thursday, April 12, 2018
InSEA International Conference held in Cairo, Egypt
With growing demand for global competence and cross-cultural skills, there is increasing recognition that international experience is invaluable for teachersand their students; this is a credence to my sojourn in Cairo this April.
First week of April, I attended the 3rd African and Middle East InSEA (International Society of Education through Art) Regional Congress/Amesea 2nd International Conference held at the October 6 University Campus, Egypt with the theme Education and the Arts Developmental Prospects 2030.
On the second day of the conference, I submitted the textile works from my school, Caleb British International School, Lagos Nigeria to the InSEA Vice President, Prof. Samia ElShaik for the Arts for Peace in Africa project (Project between NEPAD and InSEA). It was received with great admiration and one of the textile piece was selected to feature in the next InSEA postcard.
Later in the afternoon at the conference, I spoke on the topic, Wearable Art, redefining Textile Design. I spoke extensively on the beautiful traditionally made cloth from Nigeria - called Adire. I move further to explain wearable art as metamorphosis of the old tradition of tie and dye into a ready-to-wear outfits. The wearable art is a fusion of art and fashion which is composed of the Adire background with the infusion of artistic hand printed designs and patterns inspired by the African traditional cultural elements. I also mentioned that the wearable art from Nigeria promotes our unique ethnicity, cultural identity, and speaks more of our root. It is to be seen more than clothing; it is a work of art.
To further buttress my points, I made references to my wearable art designs which was born out of the idea of taking my fine art beyond the aesthetic value by creating art piece with utility value and also affordable for everyone. My concept of wearable caught the attention of Nigerian press more than a decade ago. The most intriguing one was the centre page publication on the Nigerian most widely distributed newspaper, The Punch newspaper. Published on March 8, 2009 and written by the award winning Journalist, Kemi Ashefon.
It was a great opportunity to share my concept of wearable art with the international audience of artists and art educators.
Same day, I met physically for the first time with the InSEA President, Prof. Teresa Torres de Eça (we have been communicating virtually since 2013) and she gave me a wonderful gift, the current edition of the International Journal of Education through Art.
The third day of the conference, I had a great adventure with the InSEA members to the Pyramids in Giza, Egypt. One of the beautiful moment I had was walking around the Pyramids with the InSEA President, Prof. Teresa Torres de Eça. We had a tete-a-tete about the future of art education and expanding the InSEA membership in Nigeria.
InSEA is where I belong, Art education is my constituency and it has always been my dream to increase the learning field of Art education in Nigeria. Anyone that care about the future of Art education, will join InSEA. InSEA (International Society of Education through Art) is a worldwide society of art educators concerned with education through Art. Members work together to share experience, improve practice and strengthen the position of art in all areas of education. Teaching Visual Art (www.teachingvisualart.blogspot.com ), an art organisation from Nigeria is an affiliated member of InSEA (www.insea.org )
At the conference, I made quite number of acquaintances but I shared memorable moments with Dr. Angela Saldanha for we share similar interest in photography. We both captured beautiful sceneries and moments in Cairo with our Nikon cameras (D700 and D5200). I love photography passionately, it is my greatest hobby.
Few days after the conference, I visited the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Ancient Egypt is said to be the beginning of the modern civilization and I have always been fascinated by the Egyptian art. So, it was a beautiful experience for me to have a direct observation of the Egyptian art. I was astounded by the magnificent array of arts and artefacts on display at the Egyptian Museum.
My last stop was the Kan El-Khalili market. I was marvelled at the Egyptian art and craft dexterity and how they have imprinted their artistic culture in everything.
Wow! What a trip, an adventure to the magnificent Egypt, the land of the pharaohs. Yes, I will sure come back again. Next time maybe with my art students or group of Nigerian art educators.
Many thanks to InSEA and Amesea for this platform, its so enriching. Being part of InSEA is a springboard to fulfilling my dream, to raise the standard of art education and inspire the next generations of artists and art lovers in Nigeria and beyond who will be innovative thinkers.
Keeping to the words of my mentors in the art back in Nigeria, Prof. Adepeju Layiwola (Head of Department, Creative Department, University of Lagos), Dr. John Adenle (University of Lagos), and Dr. Badaru (FCE, Abeokuta); in Cairo I have been a good ambassador for the arts, CBIS and my country, Nigeria. To God be the glory (Amen).
The emergence of the Beautiful Butterfly would have been impossible if the Caterpillar had given up as a crawler... rising against all odds!
Prince Olusegun Michael, Adeniyi