THE SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES FOR YEAR 2017/2018
CBCIU is located in Nigeria, which is the most populous black nation in the world. It harbours about 25 per cent of the population of Africa and is the biggest economy in Africa. Nigeria is the catalyst of African Renaissance and the engine of the economy of the West African sub-region. It has a population of 170 million people, making it the largest black nation in the world, and 250 ethnic groups speaking over 4,000 languages and dialects.
The ethnic groups have diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. About 39% of the population lives in the urban areas. The people have a rich culture heritage which is eloquently demonstrated in all areas of their lives. CBCIU has been able to complement the efforts of the United Nations and its agencies, as well as those of the Federal Government of Nigeria through implementation of programmes and activities that have a direct bearing on the activities of Government and the international community. CBCIU is pursuing its major objective of promoting inter-religious and cultural dialogues as well as fostering international peace and understanding with vigour, commitment and dedication.
CBCIU is also contributing its quota to efforts at changing prejudices, biases, and discrimination, which form the bedrock of hostilities in societies. CBCIU has cooperated with UNESCO in the field of culture and the promotion of peace and international understanding at different levels, especially with regard to Cultural Policy, and the preservation and conservation of culture.
The International Decade for People of African Descent Proclaimed by the United Nations (Years 2015-2024)
The scope of activities described in this compilation responds to the Charter of African Cultural Renaissance adopted by Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Khartoum, in January 2006 and UNESCO’s 2014-2017 Medium Term Strategy on Culture. The Charter underlines, among others, the important link between culture and education at all levels as well as the need to root African cultural values in education. The programmes compiled in this document align with the objectives of the International Decade of People of African Descent Proclaimed by the United Nations. (Years 2015-2024)
CBCIU is working to ensure that the international community recognizes the importance of Culture and peaceful coexistence to the lives and progress of different peoples of the world. Additionally, CBCIU is engaged in the articulation and review of a coherent and well-coordinated policy, that has the potentials of ensuring not only their planned and sustained preservation and conservation, but also create opportunities for their enhancement as viable and profitable assets worldwide. The programmes and activities of CBCIU for implementation for Years 2017/2018 are described below.
CBCIU is seeking Collaboration/Partnerships/Sponsorships for the implementation of these programmes and activities in line with the organization’s mandates.
PROGRAMMES PLANNED FOR YEAR 2017/2018
TRAVELLING EXHIBITION ON 50 YEARS OF OSOGBO SCHOOL OF ARTS: CELEBRATION
At a time that Africa, African descendants, black people from across the globe are being encouraged to achieve more, and to take a grasp of their fate and future, the exhibition would promote cultural and mutual understanding and perspectives. It will reinforce UN’s role and efforts to promote and encourage reciprocal knowledge of culture, ethnicity, language and religion as a means for sustainable development and the proffering of plausible solutions.
IMPORTANCE:OSOGBO: HOST TO ARTISTES WITH GLOBAL RECOGNITION
CBCIU is promoting/organizing Travelling Exhibitions on Fifty Years of Osogbo School of Arts, commencing from Nigeria where exhibitions have been held in Lagos and Abuja. CBCIU has the intention of staging the exhibition in the countries/regions stated above. Therefore, it welcomes support and sponsorships for the exhibition which is described below:
Osun State is the home of the Centre for Black Culture & International Understanding. Situated in a State that harbours Ile-Ife, the cradle of the Yoruba race in South-west of Nigeria, Osogbo is both a Yoruba city kingdom of over 700,000 people and an important chapter in the history of modern African art. In the 1960s, Osogbo witnessed a series of artistic activities ranging from painting and sculpture to music and theatre.
The results attracted international attention and paralleled Osogbo’s artistic status in Nigeria with that of Paris, France. Since then, Osogbo art has become a trade mark, signifying the richness and vitality of Yoruba art and culture, most impressively expressed by the annual Osun-Osogbo.
Two different groups of works can be distinguished. There are the paintings, sculptures, beads, and textiles sold locally and internationally, and other works depicting Yoruba deities and festival motifs. Prices range from twenty to several thousand dollars, excluding shipping. Then there is the second group of works. A huge chunk of the credit for placing Osogbo on the world’s cultural map would go to late Suzanne Wenger, and Georgina and Ulli Beier, who did not deliberately start an arts school or movement. Rather, what they started with in the 1950s, was to engage the young boys (and girls) who were in the Duro Ladipo Theatre to do some art works during the long hours between play rehearsals.
The experiment succeeded beyond Ulli and Georgina’s wildest imaginations, and has boosted art and culture on a global level. What is being showcased now are some of the distinctive features of the experiment, whose features constitute the contributions of the Osogbo School of Art to the global Art community. The following are noteworthy:
• Although there were already contemporary artistes trained according to modern (western) art techniques and perspectives in Nigeria, the Oshogbo experiment was the first to have succeeded in encouraging a contemporary modern art that would build on and continue the indigenous art traditions. This, above all, is what has made the artistes famous throughout the world;
• The artists themselves were by and large young men with only rudimentary formal western- style education, after which they became artisans, petrol station attendants or, in the famous case of twins, a dancer for itinerant medicine peddlers. All of them were resident in Osogbo, capital of Osun State, Nigeria.
• Easily, the achievement of Georgia and Ulli was the ability to turn the underprivileged and disadvantaged status of these young men into great assets: no certificates were required of them to join in the experiment. They were totally unself-conscious they had not been influenced by notions of Western art then taught in schools.
According to Ulli Bier, one of the major catalysts of the Art movement: “Unlike European art student of comparable age and unlike the art historians, critics and anthropologists who have been looking at their work as “Yoruba” or “African” or “Western”. “Early prediction that Oshogbo artists would soon run out of steam after their European Mentors left Nigeria in December, 1966 looks particularly ridiculous”.
It is not only this misconception that the Exhibition desires to invalidate, but it is essentially a celebration of an Artistic movement that has not only remained true to its cultural identity and essence. All of these, and more, are the reasons why CBCIU is committed to celebrating 50 years of Osogbo Art Movement. From that beginning to the present, almost all the promotion that Osogbo Art has had has been from abroad or by foreigners. True, there has been patronage of them by individual Nigerians and Nigerian Institutions, but proper international recognition of what the movement stood for, and still represents has been lacking. Osogbo Art Movement was uniquely an Osogbo thing, so much so that the town in fact became known as the left Bank of Nigeria art in the 1960s.There are more artists of good quality, old and middle-aged, plying their trade in Osogbo today than in any other town in Nigeria, including Lagos. The following facts emerge:
• By its very success, the Osogbo Art experiment proved that tradition can be modernized from within; that in certain fields of cultural practice; not certificates but talent is what matters most;
• If there had been no Osogbo Art Movement, there probably would not be CBCIU located in Osogbo today, or certainly, it would have been located in another town or country. CBCIU is though in many ways a product and beneficiary of the movement.
• Finally, in celebrating 50 years of Oshogbo Art Movement, CBCIU is remembering and celebrating Georgina and Ulli Beier, Suzanne Wenger, and other prominent artistes whose works have gained international recognition. These celebrities have massive contributions of to the global Art community.
• Better appreciation of African arts and cultures to the global community
• Better understanding of African arts, traditions and cultures
• Contribute to the objectives of the UN International Decade of People of African Descent Proclaimed by the United Nations
• Promote potentials of Africa and the true picture of African history and capabilities of people of African Descent
• Promote global trade and international understanding
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE/COLLOQUIUM ON SLAVERY & SLAVE TRADE
UNITED NATIONS 2017 THEME: "Remember Slavery: Recognizing the Legacy and Contributions of People of African Descent"
CBCIU is also organizing a conference/workshop os Slavery & Slave Trade
HOST ORGANIZATION: The Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, Osogbo (CBCIU)
PARTNERS: Organizations with similar objectives.
PARTICIPANTS & OBSERVERS: No restrictions. Therefore, the conference is an invitation to the global community and participants - Black intelligentsia, non-black academics, as well as, the global vanguard of culture to take a look at Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade that will focus on specific consequences of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
It is designed to contribute to efforts to properly record the ways in which enslaved Africans and their descendants influenced and continue to shape societies around the world, including their performances in the areas of technology and culture. It also highlights the persistent spirit and innovation of the people in communities affected by the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
In furtherance of the Colloquium staged in Osogbo, Nigeria by the Centre for Black Culture & International Understanding in 2010, as part of the UNESCO Slave Route Project, CBCIU again plans to convoke a gathering that would further examine Slavery, Slave Trade & Their Consequences as part of events marking the Proclamation of the United Nations, making Years 2015-2024 ‘’The International Decade of People of African Descent.’’ For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the tragic transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history. The event is in line with the United Nations and UNESCO’s belief in and sponsorship of intellectual exchange and dialogue among cultures as the best prospects for peace.
This event is, therefore, a clarion call for global recognition and remembrance of the effects of Slavery and Slave Trade, and the recording of the correct version of the occurrence.
The conference will take a critical look at the positive potentials of open discussions to understand the contributions of the Black race tothe evolution of a sound and virile polity.
It will encourage recognition of the roles played by Black people in developing thw Western world, as a means to promoting dialogue on the African Diaspora and their history; identification and mobilization towards a common agenda of elevating the Black Race and Africa. By so doing, it will serve as a major contribution to United Nation’s events and programmes for 2017 and beyond, as they impact the Black Race/Africa, particularly, during the period set aside by the United Nations as the Decade of the People of African Descent. (2015-2024)
The Conference/Colloquium is an open invitation to intellectuals and other interested Parties to participate in the important dialogue as part of calls for the establishment of an outreach programme to mobilize educational institutions, civil society and other organizations to inculcate in future generations the "causes, consequences and lessons of the transatlantic slave trade, and to communicate the dangers of racism and prejudice."
Therefore, every year on 25th March, ‘’The International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade’’ serves to provide the opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system.
The proposed Slavery Conference/Colloquium is being planned to hold in order to:
• Raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice in the world today.
• Encourage the history of the transatlantic slave trade to be taught alongside the important contributions that Africans have made to humanity
• Promote a better knowledge of African history is decisive to fostering global citizenship in today’s world. The Slavery project is essential to countering the dominant Western perspective on the history of Africa; hence the need for the project to be hugely supported.
• Promoting efforts at writing the correct history of Slavery and Slave Trade.
• The project is viewed as a potent means of shaping a new level of awareness and knowledge concerning essential elements of the African Diaspora. It is to further contribute to the UN Agenda of the International Decade of African Descent.
• Contribute to ‘’The General History of Africa Project’’ that has spanned over 35 years and involved more than 230 historians and the 54 countries in Africa.
• Assist in promoting and proposing an African perspective to the history of Slavery & Slave Trade.
• Promote and integration of common contents in all African curricula and renewing knowledge in African history
• Make huge contributions to the achievement of the objectives of International Decade for People of African Descent
• Give African children a perspective that they are the citizens of the future united Africa.
• Promote a positive perspective, and tackle negative perceptions about Africa, the African continent & Its Diaspora.
• Contribute to the General History of Africa project launched by UNESCO in 1964; with a view to remedy the general ignorance on Africa’s history. The challenge consisted of reconstructing Africa’s history, freeing it from racial prejudices ensuing from slave trade and colonization, and promoting an African perspective.
• Assist to build bridges for Africans across the world.
CONFERENCE ON GLOBALIZATION – CONCEPT PAPER:
Proposed to be staged as part of CBCIU’S contributions to the United Nations International Decade of the People of African Descent (2015-2024)
CONVENERS: Centre for Black Culture & International Understanding, Nigeria, in collaboration with institutions with similar objectives
THE SECOND GLOBAL CONFERENCE OF BLACK NATIONALITIES is a follow-up to the First Global Conference of Black Nationalities organized by the Centre for Black Culture & International Understanding, which took place in Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria.
It is an open and constructive dialogue about inequalities, undemocratic, non-consultative, and non-transparent origins, structures, and patterns of engagement in the implementation of the agenda of Globalization; and how best to ensure that the agenda profits all part of the world. The Second Global Conference of Black Nationalities will take a critical look at the positive potentials of open discussions on globalization and its effects as a means of evaluating the success of the programme, as embraced by the whole world. In particular, the conference would gauge the effect of globalization on the black race and suggest measures that would elevate the UN Agenda. The forum would afford the participants the opportunity of identifying and mobilizing towards a common agenda of elevating the Black Race and Black Diaspora.
The Global Conference of Black Nationalities IS NOT ABOUT RACE; but an invitation to participants - black intelligentsia, non-black academics, as well as, the global vanguard of culture to discuss the effects of Globalization, as upheld by the United Nations and its specialized agencies that preach the articulation of a common vision, strategies and programmes for global development.
Part of the noble objectives includes international cooperation, following the path of peace, tolerance and dialogue. Globalization emphasizes a changed world environment for total development of humanity.
The emerging world order tends to suggest that for Globalization to be meaningful, there must be concrete efforts to uphold diversity, dignity, tolerance, pluralism and democratic principles, within the context of globalization. Essentially, that means the developed and developing world must cooperate for the emergence of a better society that is premised on peace, equity, justice and good governance; that would bring about rapid development of all parts of the world.
AREAS OF DISCUSSION:
Globalization & Its Implementation – An Overview The Post-2015 UN Agenda for Global Development Governance and Leadership. Sustainable Universal Growth and Development Collaboration for Development – The Roles of Developing and Developed Nations
OTHER KEY EVENTS INCLUDE:
•Access to and/or Participation in an Exhibition of Black Arts and Culture from across the globe
•Performances by Black/African performers and cultural troupes, including film shows
•Interactions with the Press and access to representatives of invited Global leaders
•Interaction with visiting dignitaries from several nations and corporate leaders for investment and economic development.
OUTCOMES AND CONTRIBUTIONS:
The outcomes and contributions of the conference include the following:
•Contribute to the global soul-searching given globalization and the “new” expectations of the Black Race for more prominent contributions
. •Contribute to efforts at shaping a new world order by the United Nations
•Development of a database of participants and resources to be shared and used to galvanize and stimulate development, promote better implementation of the globalization agenda and peace through collaboration, networking and resource sharing
•Stimulate actions towards bridging the gap between the developed and developing world.
•Promote discourse on the redistribution of wealth to close the gap between the rich and poor peoples of the world •Development of a common agenda for the promotion of Globalization
•Promote global peace; economic collaboration and development
RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT & PUBLICATION OF JOURNALS
CBCIU exists to anchor firmly, the role of culture in sustainable development policies, to give greater recognition to cultural diversity and inter-cultural dialogues, for cohesion, in a pluralistic world.
CBCIU is also providing appropriate and coherent linkages with relevant initiatives at the sub-regional and regional levels. It has linkages with organizations with similar objectives, tertiary and research institutions, locally and abroad. It is affiliated to the Institute for African Culture & International Understanding, Abeokuta.
CBCIU has the mandate to boost research activities, particularly about the Black race.
CBCIU is also concerned with promoting interactions among cultures. Its major objective is the promotion of inter-religious and cultural dialogues as well as fostering international peace and understanding.
It is giving greater recognition to cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, including its inter-religious component in order to reinforce social cohesion in Nigeria's pluralistic society and beyond.
This is aside promoting reciprocal knowledge, understanding, appreciation and respect in the region and beyond through a systematic networking with other national, regional and international institutions. In particular, contents of Journals and publications of CBCIU are fashioned to anchor firmly, the role of culture in sustainable development policies, in order to give greater recognition to cultural diversity and inter-cultural dialogues for cohesion in a pluralistic society like Nigeria.
CBCIU is also providing appropriate and coherent linkages with relevant initiatives at the sub-regional and regional levels.
OSUN OSOGBO FESTIVAL
This is an important festival celebrated annually and which draws participants from various parts of the world. The Osun-Osogbo Groove has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
CBCIU is providing a platform for the establishment of new partnerships in shared and cross border cultural relations, promote the creation of cross-border cultural relations, promote cultural and historical heritage and support local traditional skills of the border regions and the nations at large, and strengthen co-operation on the preservation of cultural heritage and transmission between different culture spheres of the participating border communities and nations.
The involvement of CBCIU is best gauged by the status of its host community on the global art world. Osogbo is the home of the Centre for Black Culture & International Understanding. It also harbours the Osun-Osogbo Grove that is a UNESCO World Heritage site inscribed in Durban, South-Africa in 2005.
In the 1960s, Osogbo witnessed a series of artistic activities ranging from painting and sculpture to music and theatre.
The results attracted international attention and paralleled Osogbo’s artistic status in Nigeria with that of Paris, France.
Since then, Osogbo art has become a trademark, signifying the richness and vitality of Yoruba art and culture, most impressively expressed by the annual Osun-Osogbo festival.
The following will be part of the week-long annual celebration of the festival:
• Seminars/Workshops on arts and crafts
• A Conference/Symposium
• An exhibition that is a ‘narrative’ of the journey so far travelled by the Osogbo Art Movement
• Take notice of the younger generations of artists trained by the ‘masters’ and see how well they are doing by exhibiting their selected works;
• Find ways of possibly replicating and/or building on that experiment (those who constituted the original Osogbo artists were boys and girls literally taken off the streets by Georgina and Ulli)
• Explore ways of ensuring continuity by instituting an annual Nigeria-wide art competition among the youth.
THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY
This has the potency of creating jobs through the impartation of skills. CBCIU is working towards evolving and publishing a series based on empirical research from African countries on “Protecting, Promoting and Transmitting Africa’s Indigenous Knowledge Systems for Sustainable Development” and to establish innovative, information and communication technology tools for peace and sustainable development and plans to engage young people in ethical practices in the use of modern communication tools for peace and sustainable development. It also aims at enhancing the capacity of young people in particular, in the effective use of social media for promotion of peace and sustainable development, facilitate collaboration for prevention of abuse of new media among young people, document indigenous knowledge systems in Africa in agriculture, medicine, education, commerce, science and technology, environment and governance. It will act on the following:
• Preserve the knowledge and skills of persons (living human treasures) who have made noteworthy contributions to performing, enactment or re‐creation of intangible cultural heritage elements with high historical, artistic or cultural value.
• Replicate and build on that experiment (those who constituted the original Osogbo artists were boys and girls literally taken off the streets by Georgina and Ulli Beier)
• Explore ways of ensuring continuity by instituting an annual Nigeria-wide art competition among the youth.
• Foster the transmission of knowledge and skills of living human treasures to younger generations for the purpose of sustainability of African cultural heritage and the promotion of a culture of peace.
• Report exemplary practices on promotion, protection and transmission of indigenous knowledge systems in Africa and the rest of the world.
• Implement strategies for harnessing the power of indigenous knowledge for sustainable development of African countries and for Black people all over the world.
Government Reserved Area
Abere, Osun State