BC1: Youth of Nigeria as Artists of the Future 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 throughfuture collaborative initiatives with the participants.
This Workshop program is designed and facilitated by multidisciplinary artist and scholar Wilfred Ukpong in collaboration with Social Sculpture Research Unit Oxford: 4 Participants will be selected from Abuja/Northern Nigeria, 4 Participants
from Lagos/Western Nigeria and 4 participants from the Niger-Delta/Southern Nigeria axis.
CALL for PARTICIPANTS
Creative Vision Project!
“BC1: Youth of Nigeria as Artists of the Future”
Are you an artist or creative individual between 18 and 29 years of age?
Are you interested in discovering ways of developing your creativity and how this might also benefit the wider society and the environment? Have you ever longed for a space where your creativity and ideas can lead to many different, new and innovative ways of working? Are you interested in participating on an international art, film and music project? If so, then you may want to participate in the creative project
“BC1: Youth of Nigeria as Artists of the Future”!
The project is organized by Blazing Century Studios, Nigeria as part a Doctoral Research project in the School of Arts, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, United Kingdom.
SO, WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
12 young artists and creative people will participate in a two-part workshop, first for 4 days (18th – 21st May) 2016
The workshops– led by the social-artist, Wilfred Ukpong – will enable you to become aware of your social-artistic capacities and to develop imaginative proposals for social-environmental art formsthat could become social enterprises.
In the first 3-day workshop you will be introduced to creative ways of developing your ideas, vision and proposals. In the last day of the workshop, ideas and proposals will be shared and discussed with experienced people such as cultural managers, social entrepreneurs, environmentalists and government officials.
The cross sector dialogue that these workshops will facilitate is intended to help you to develop new vision and new ways of working as a creative practitioner who can respond to the social and environmental challenges in creative ways.Throughout the workshops there will be a focus on how your proposed project can benefit your environment, the community and its people.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE?
PARTICIPATION IS FREE! And all materials and meals are provided.
But you do need to commit to participating fully in both parts of the workshop: for 4days (18th – 21st May) 2016,Workshop hours are 10 am –5 pm daily.
MAKE AN APPLICATION: There are only 12 places available. So be quick to register, get an application form, and explain your motivation!
To apply email me, Wilfred Ukpong
, and I will send you the Application Form. YOU MUST BE 18 TO PARTICIPATE.
APPLICATION DUE BY 16th May 2016.
HOSTED BY: BC Studios(Temporary Site) Grace Garden Apartments, 1 Frank Akpan Street, Off Marina Road Eket, Akwa Ibom State. Nigeria. Please contact me for more information.We look forward to hearing from you soon!