At Nigeria’s Second  Venice Biennale  Outing, Culture Minister Expresses Pride

At the Nigeria Pavilion’s opening at the Venice Biennale on Tuesday, the federal government—represented by the minister of Art, Culture, and the Creative Economy, Barr Hannatu Musa Musawa—seemed resolute while making a pledge to enhance the global creative economy by championing the arts and culture sector. While making this declaration at the Rio Terà Canal, she also highlighted the ministry’s strategic alliances with key stakeholders like the Museum of West African Art (MOWAA) to drive investments in the art sector.

“We must be creative in our approach to facilitating investment in arts and culture,” a statement from her ministry quoted her as saying. “We are committed to working with private sector institutions and foundations such as MOWAA, and we see the Nigeria Imaginary as a shining example of what can be achieved by such partnerships.”

Musawa also expressed excitement about the long-term partnership with MOWAA and anticipated further achievements, such as the eventual return of the exhibition to the MOWAA Creative Campus in Nigeria. The collaboration aims to highlight Nigeria’s vibrancy, diversity, and talent on a global scale, solidifying their dedication to nurturing a flourishing creative economy with international appeal.

The minister also commended the group of eight artists handpicked to represent Nigeria at the Venice Biennale for their significant efforts in promoting the nation’s cultural essence. The artists Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Ndidi Dike, Onyeka Igwe, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Abraham Oghobase, Precious Okoyomon, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, and Fatimah Tuggar have effectively embraced their roles as cultural envoys. “Their ambitious and thought-provoking works engage with themes of identity, democracy, migration, history, and heritage, offering fresh perspectives on our country through their unique lenses,” she added.

While acknowledging the efforts of Ms. Aindrea Emelife as well, Musawa praised her remarkable foresight in showcasing Nigeria’s cultural heritage on a global stage through the Nigeria Pavilion. “We seek to empower young passionate storytellers and feel the theme ‘Nigeria Imaginary’ is precisely what the world needs to see from Nigeria.More than a display of artistic achievement, the Nigeria Pavilion represents a collaborative effort that transcends geographical and governmental boundaries, celebrating the voices of both our homegrown and diaspora artists.

“This is why the ministry is dedicated to fostering environments that celebrate and nurture artistic excellence, ensuring that such exhibitions inspire our emerging talents and honour our established artists, and ensuring that the arts remain at the forefront of our national agenda.”

Expressing immense pride in the day’s achievements, she extended her gratitude to stakeholders and participants on behalf of Mr. President.

This is Nigeria’s second time at the prestigious Venice Biennale. This time around, distinguished personalities like Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka, and curator Aindrea Emelife graced the momentous event. Also present was Phillip Ihenacho, the director of the Edo Museum of West African Art, EMOWAA Trust. In its 60th edition, the Venice Biennale serves as a grand platform uniting worldwide creators, curators, collectors, and art enthusiasts, fostering international artistic dialogue and cultural appreciation.

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