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Friday, July 19, 2024

Remembering the day, Amb. Bayraktar, Beste Gürsü,  opened Yunus Emre Institute Gallery with Photo Exhibition in Abuja 

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Alkasim Abdulkadir 

Republic Day is Turkey’s commemoration of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey which is celebrated every 29th day of October, in honour of the same date in 1923. To mark the event there were a series of events which included art exhibitions hosted by the Turkish Embassy in Abuja and the opening of a gallery at the Yunus Emre Institute, Abuja, the events were in conjunction with the Abuja Open House Convergence 2022. The theme of the exhibition was “The Spatiality of Photography in Constructing Memories”, it also featured online discussion among artists. In his welcome address, Mr Abdulziz  Cetin remarked that the Yunus Emre Institute was the flagship institute of Turkish language and culture in Abuja and the institute offered Turkish language courses, exams, a library and event hosting services.  

The photos on display had a myriad of emotions, there is the picture of two girls against a blue backdrop dressed in hijab and holding hands, it tells the story of sisterhood, it tells the story of hope it tells the story of the tenacity of the girlchild and the things she has to go through and the social and cultural milieu of Northern Nigeria. There is also a photograph of a man beside a riverbank the river in full tide and a wooden canoe beside it. 

From Left – Right Director Yunus Emre Abuja Aziz Cetin Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Nigeria Amb. Hidayet Bayraktar, his wife Ms Fisun Bayraktar and Art Consultant and Curator Ms Beste Gursu

A statue is featured in another picture of Queen Amina of Zaria on a charging horse where she tries to reign in the horse amidst its gallop, the statue frozen in time tells the story of the courage of a warrior queen Amina of Zaria, against the backdrop of the National Theatre in Iganmu Lagos.

Next is the surreal picture of heaps of sand in mounds with shovels sticking from them, the picture tells the story of a deserted worksite, it sits astride the tale of either graveyard being dug or an abandoned worksite only the photographer can tell us what he meant. 

There’s also Christopher Nelson’s picture of a statue backing the audience standing with hands on his hips looking far into the future with an almost imperial stand. The frame of the girl who has her veil up above her head so high as if she was going to use the veil to glide there is a happy look on her face against the desolateness of her environment which most likely was a house blown up by conflict but yet she was happy in a somewhat manner of poetic justice.

One of the pictures on exhibition.

 Christopher Nelson also experiments with huge dashes of color on some of his pictures one of the most telling pictures is that of an upturned food flask hanging on the study stick where perhaps the owner of the food flask had washed it to dry boldly within in the far backdrop of the picture where the words bet king in reference to the betting company in Nigeria that has become the ubiquitous past time of young people seeking to make quick money through gambling and betting, there is the picture of a man adorned in full Northern regalia standing in deep thoughts with his hand on his chin thinking, while beneath it is the picture of a girl with a hand wall looking straight into the camera both pictures against the backdrop of dirty blue walls. The exhibitors were Etinosa Yvonne Christopha Nelson and Iwar Ternaa.  

The convergence was described as beginning as a hybrid conversation. A coming together of all fragmented elements in a mapping, in a mapped, trajectory the social economic, political ecological, and historical, trajectories in convergence, convergence as a theme for Abuja open house 2022 is built on the truth of the city materializing, the creative sanctity of the cities, record and inventory and adventure. It is an invitation to work on a shore of intangible and tangible footprints. It is a journey. One step in the past two steps in the present as we converge to a reimagine are identity and our shared experiences. Abuja’s art galleries and arts. Pacers where described, as if as future spaces of encounter future spaces of fiscal, encounter engagement exchange of ideas. Ideologies of a community. It’s environment where people think in multi-dimensions. It is also historical where questions and asked and answered. It is a place of culture style music, food, trends and fashion.

Alkasim Abdulkadir is the Editor-In-Chief of Daily Review Newspaper he is currently a YTB Katip fellow at the Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University at Ankara.
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