New Telegraph

Israeli Embassy initiates art project to strengthen ties with Nigeria

Israeli Embassy in Abuja has initiated a visual art project, called “Arts For Friendship,” to strengthen its friendship and diplomatic relations with Nigeria. The nine days of live artistic expression held in Abuja was said to be a project conceived by Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Michael Freeman and wife, Her Excellency, Segalit Freeman. Findings showed that Israel and Nigeria have enjoyed good diplomatic relations spanning about 30 years, and that the Art project came as a platform for cultural and historic similarities of the two countries to be further shared through visual arts.

Susa Rodriguez-Garrioo, an art curator and representative, who helped to facilitate the project, stated that the ambassador was desirous of having notable artists from Israel, Ella Amitai Sadovsky and a Nigerian Arts historian, Prof. Peju Layiwola, share both stories and experiences about both countries.

She said; “In my understanding, the Art of Friendship intends to achieve a better friendship and collaboration between the two countries and also show audiences from both countries their great of works of art.” Layiwola, who is also a lecturer at the University of Lagos, noted that she was participating in the art project as part of her efforts to fostering peace and friendship between nations of the world, through her intellectual works. According to her, the programme was an amazing opportunity to share both countries cultural values through visual arts, while strengthening its diplomatic ties.

The visiting artist, Ella Amitai Sadovsky, who is also an academia, said her experience in the project and Nigeria has stimulated her interest in knowing more about the country. While she disclosed her collaboration with the Nigerian artist has exposed her to many good side of the country, she also hinted on her intension to visit both Lagos and Osun states to explore more about the cultural heritage of the country. She added, “I decided to study Nigerians and Nigerian arts, even their history and bring it to my work. Peju will also study my country and bring it to her work. “For the few months we worked together, we have connected. I would like Peju to come to Israel and continue with this. I have many ideas now. I am in Abuja now but I would like to see Lagos and Osun.”

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