President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to launch an initiative tagged ‘ANISZA’, a visual art project aimed at promoting unity among Nigerians especially young citizens in Abuja on October 1. ANISZA, an acronym coined by combining words from Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, and depicting unity, “is a Nigerian idea that is set to address the needless agitations that Nigerians are faced with, fanning the embers of disunity.” Personal photographer to the vice president and special assistant to the President on visual communication, Novo Isioro disclosed this to journalists at a news conference Tuesday while announcing activities lined up for the launch of the initiative timed to coincide with Nigeria’s 58th Independence Anniversary.
According to her, the first ever mobile gallery is aimed at addressing ethnic and religious agitations in the country. She said, “We have seen contestations among adherents of the various religious and ethnic groups in the country. There have been tensions that have been generated because of our differences. But I think that this diversity should be celebrated and not be a problem. “So I just thought about this tendency towards disunity, and as a visual artist, I understand how image tells the story more than words. So, I thought that we should use pictures to tell the stories of strength in diversity.
“The idea is to use pictures to speak to the people to stop the agitations, the drama, the hate speeches, division and instead work together. This is practically focused on young people. I realised that most people especially the young ones really don’t understand our history.” Speaking on the sustainability of the initiative, Miss Isioro said, “We are using a mobile gallery so that we can take it to the 36 states and focus on schools.” She said: “We are collaborating with state governments and federal ministries to take this gallery to schools in their domain to get as many children as possible to benefit from the project. But we are also having an online platform that we will use to keep the message alive.
“But for October 1, we are inviting students from schools across the country. We plan to host the students for three days during which there will be a symposium, an exhibition and a mini-tour,” When asked how much the group is injecting into this project, she said “It’s expensive , I can’t say this is the cost because everyday we incur new cost. It’s a first ever mobile gallery since the 60s.”
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