Again, I haven’t left a message here for a while, so, instead of a long text and explanations maybe just a few snaps of the final exhibition at the Department of Creative Arts, Unimaid.

Since, then I’m actually more around town, trying to talk to the guys in the numerous art shops around town. Just yesterday I was hinted at one by the former head of the arts department at the local college of education, and actually, finally, finally, a proper calligrapher. He appears to be all about town as well so its been a bit tricky to make an appointment with him but hopefully tomorrow morning …

In fact, let me also add one or two images of works by students of Kashim Ibrahim College of Education here in town. The only comment I want to make for the moment: when looking at them pls. bear in mind that many of them might not have had any art education before they joined the college, and I really mean none at all. Although theoretically art is compulsory subject in primary and junior secondary school many schools don’t teach it. Why? Well, lack of funding in the form of art rooms and art materials goes a long way to explain it. But there is also a lack of qualified teachers. And, understandably somehow, with the limited resources many headmasters seems to prefer to use the available funds towards technical and science education. So, as a matter of fact, many qualified art teachers seem to end up teaching other subjects or leaving the profession at all. A sentiment, by the way, many parents seem to share. So, yes, many of the students joining the college’s art department might not have had any art instructions at all … and of course, this might show in some of the works. Or, like a graduate of the Department of Creative Arts at the University of Maiduguri put it: With such a late start, how can (northern) Nigerian artists be expected to compete with Western artists who got their first art instructions in nursery, kindergarten or latest primary school?

Oh, and just to quickly contradict the impression that I’m pretty depressed here: I’m not. Most of the time I’m actually enjoying it (just think of all the delicious food around here … just say: suya!!!). And come on, does that look like I’m not enjoying myself here?

And some of the stuff that frustrates me I would actually find quite funny if it wasn’t me myself being involved in it. And wait until I’m back in good ol’ Europe because by that time I will think they’re funny and get onto your nerves with them!!! But more about this another time.


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