African Academic Conferences for Beginners

Alright, the first week at campus is over ... and I have to confess I didn't spend as much time at campus as I had hoped to. Basically, because when I went to the department on wednesday I ran into Achedu Ogboli, one of the lecturers there, who told me about this conference and on hearing I hadn't heard about it whisked me off to the venue together with some of his own students. So, I ended up spending the day there, all kept fresh and freezing by airconditioning and lots of fans - a penguin would have been happy to change place with me!
Anyway, was a good thing to go as quite a few researchers concerned with the area were around and it was surely useful to be introduced to them. Never mind getting shown a place where to get some mediteranean style food ... oh, and one where to get beer but I already don't like German beer and Nigerian one, I have to say, has the same annoying taste of ... well, beer. So, that was less useful. Anyway, I guess to a certain extent this also holds true for the conference itself as no paper was exactly concerned with art but most in one way or the other with the history of Islam in the Borno-Kanem empire. But they had this craft and art exhibition outside the conference hall and there actually were some painters there as well. One of them is even a former graduate of the Arts Department at the Uni here and I will meet up with him on monday. Lets see what will come out of this ... and urgently search for a good picture to commission from him. There were two more painters who run an art business in Adamawa and one quite reowned painter from Yobe. The latter had shown works in an exhition of contemporary Nigerian Islamic art in Abuja in September and did her PhD in Turkey, studying Islamic art. I got her email address and the number of the business she's running and hope to get hold of her. Should be really worthwhile to talk to her!!!
Oh, and on another note: They currently also have quite a big going on at campus as the theatre students have to give performances as part of their examination. That's my nights outs currently! Though, more about this another time when I got the pics down from the camera and a bit more information on the plays! And then I'll also add some pictures of works by the artist mentioned above.


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