The coolest governor in Nigeria, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, was a special guest of honour at the Center for Fine Arts (BOZAR)’s 2016 Summer Photography Exhibition in Brussels last week.
The exhibition largely focused on Lagos with the theme Dey Your Lane: Lagos Variations, opened 16 June, is on from 17 June until 4 September 2016 and is curated by Lagos Photo Director, Azu Nwagbogu.
Of the exhibition BOZAR says, ” With photography, video and soundscapes, the exhibition depicts the individualistic and creative dynamic generated by the huge city. See how the inhabitants of this megalopolis appropriate the public space and make their personal and collective ambitions come true. This exhibition is accompanied by a great selection of Nigerian cinema, literature and contemporary dance.”
Dey Your Lane which means ‘mind your business’ features work from 24 artists including photos from Logo Oluwamuyiwa’s ongoing Monochrome Lagos project, David Uzochukwu’s A Farmiliar Ruin, Adeola Olagunju, Abraham Oghobase, Zina Saro-Wiwa and many others.
When asked about his experience at the opening of the exhibition, Logo had this to say;
“There is no applause waiting at the end of any journey, all the thrill is in the journey and in the work – Before the attention and long after its gone. It’s all in the work so ensure you enjoy the work you do, it’s all you will have!”
Governor Ambode seems to think this work of artists can be put to alot of good use. Ambode who was in the company of his wife, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Mr. Folarin Coker, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Overseas Affairs and Investment, Professor Ademola Abass seized the opportunity -as politicians are known to do- to call on political leaders to partner with artists in order to benefit from their creative and artistic imagination to tackle some of the challenges confronting megacities such as exponential urbanization.
The very popular Governor further reiterated the commitment of his 1 year old administration to engage with the art, culture and entertainment sector -which was one of his many campaign promises – and continue the legacy of acronym usage, via Project THESE, which stands for: Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment, Sport through Excellence.
The event was attended by Belgium’s senior government officials including the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, Mr Didier Reynders and his wife, amongst others.
Governor Ambode had also earlier met with the Managing Director (Africa) of the European Union’s External Action Services, (EEAS), Mr Koen Vervaeke, in Brussels, to explore possible areas of collaboration between Lagos State and the European Union.
Mr. Varvaeke commended the progress Governor Ambode’s administration has made in the last one year, particularly in the area of security and infrastructural development.
The event culminated in the Governor’s announcement of plans to develop a new museum in the 18 million people strong city of Lagos, in which one of the few existing museums, Nigerian National Museum was founded in 1957.