Four days workshop, Creative Vision Workshop running fromMay 18 – 21, 2016 and oragnised under BC1: Youth of Nigeria as Artists of the Future.
Designed and facilitated by multidisciplinary artist and scholar Wilfred Ukpong in collaboration with Social Sculpture Research Unit Oxford, U.K, four Participants will be selected from Abuja/Northern Nigeria, four from Lagos/Western Nigeria and four from the Niger-Delta/Southern Nigeria axis.
The workshop is an artistic workshop that focuses on developing cross-sector creative strategies that enable young artists and creative practitioners in Nigeria to become ‘agents of social and environmental consciousness and change’. This phrase is central to the field of socially engaged art practice and contemporary social sculpture.
Nigerian born and Oxford-based multidisciplinary social practice artist Wilfred Ukpong engages the field of socially engaged art practice (social practice art) that explores trans-disciplinary creativity and vision with a social focus. Ukpong also engages the field of contemporary social sculptures focus on the need and potential for human beings to recognize an expanded form of social art that includes shaping new social forms and structures as artworks. And sees the real ‘capital’ of society, as the internationally acclaimed late German artist Joseph Beuys did, as the ‘social capital’ of an expanded understanding of art.
Ukpongs project over the past five years in the Niger Delta – through supports from the Prince Claus Fund Amsterdam and Social Sculpture Research Unit Oxford – has been focus on working with over one hundred underserved local community youths in a series of empowerment and conflict resolution projects through artistic workshop involving performance, installations, photography and filmmaking initiatives.
The singular focus of this current project is ‘youth’ (between 18 and 29 years) who are artists and other types of creative practitioners, who have a certain amount of language and skill in some form of artistic practice. Working with this more specific focus, the seven days workshop - involving twelve selected participants and six cultural managers – will aim at exploring ways of inspiring and enabling new understandings and forms of social-environmental artistic practice that can also have a social enterprise focus and prospect.
In a context like Nigeria, and by geo-cultural extension Africa, where art either means individual creativity or relates to traditional forms of group activity, Ukpong is interested in developing a new contemporary form of artistic practice in the margins of two worlds – between a more westernized formal form of individualistic expression and traditional forms of trans-disciplinary and cross-cultural practices with strong social and ethical inclusion.
The core aim of his workshop project is to facilitate ways that emphasize creative actions that support active engagement in the shaping of individual life and the society. It will do this by engaging a set of creative methods and strategies that supports individual participants to become “agents of change” while contributing their potentials and capacities for imaginative thought and creativity towards sustainable and humane forms of development.
The aims of this workshop project is to enable creative individuals and artist participants to:
– Contribute to youth empowerment and development in Nigeria by creating opportunities and platforms for creative engagement such that can reduce restiveness in the country, and most especially in the Niger-Delta region
– Deepen and expand their understanding of their social potential and possibilities to become agents of change, social artists as well as social and creative entrepreneurs while contributing to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
– Become more aware and appreciative of how others can contribute to this agency through knowledge exchange and cross-sector dialogues that can facilitate diversity for a broader cultural atmosphere;
– Become more aware of the capacities and contributions that can be made by professionals from different sectors and disciplinary backgrounds to an expanded form of social art practice and creative innovation;
– Become more conscious of their personal potential to contribute to the shaping of a more humane and ecologically viable society while directly impacting on the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
An exhibition presenting the outcome of this workshop will be shown in Lagos, Oxford, and Paris, and will feature artistic expressions and ‘visual maps’ of participants’ dreams, ideas, and visions. This project will serve as a platform to select original participants for Ukpong’s Blazing Century project while establishing an on-going network from within the group of cultural managers as well as facilitating support through future collaborative initiatives with the participants.