Venezuela embassy presents cultural projects to NCAC

The embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in The Gambia on Thursday presented two cultural projects to the National Centre for Art and Culture (NCAC), held at the ambassador’s office in Kotu.

Speaking during the meeting, the Venezuelan ambassador to The Gambia, H.E. Eduardo Medina Rubio, said the two projects are meant to give opportunity to fine artists to showcase their talents. The projects, he revealed, are the opening of the ‘African knowledge centre’ and the Biennial Cultural Exhibition, to be held in Caracas, Venezuela.

Explaining the first project, opening of an exhibition centre called ‘African knowledge centre’, Ambassador Rubio said they would invite artistes to make their work, and selected artworks would be displayed at the centre.

This project, he added is about bringing opportunities for institutions from Venezuela and The Gambia, particularly in the area of culture.

The Venezuelan diplomat affirmed that this initiative would be very interesting, as it would help to build connection and further strengthen relationship with cultural centres in The Gambia

In the second project, ‘Biennial South and South Cultural Exhibition’ to be held this year in Caracas, he intimated, they would invite over 140 artists from 40 countries to make a revolutionary artwork that would be displayed in the form of exhibition in Venezuela.

“The selected artists to represent their country would use their work to display it during the celebration and after the work, if selected the detail would be told by their National Centre for Art and Culture in each countries on what to do next. These projects would also help to strengthen the already existing relationship between Venezuela and these countries.”

Baba Ceesay, the director general of National Centre for Art and Culture, welcomed the idea of the two projects and cited the ‘Biennial Cultural Exhibition’ as one that is already part of efforts to reinforce South-South-cooperation.

The South-South-Cooperation he explained, is mostly the countries that have suffered from the hegemonic rule of the West and that this projects would also help to widen the opportunities for artistes to express their feelings about the relationship between the North and the South. “This would also serve as an opportunity to bring together their ideas and reinforce cooperation, as the ‘African Knowledge Centre’ is a place for not only artistes to exhibit their works but to also do research about the African traditions.”

DG Ceesay assured of his institution’s commitment and interest in working in this area, further informing that they have an invaluable archive of more than 5000 recordings of oral histories and traditions amongst others.

“The NCAC is also responsible for all heritage affairs; be it material or non-material. It would be very valuable if we can link up with the centres that operate in the same scheme of things so as to broaden and foster cooperation especially between the two countries that already have a diplomatic relations.” he said.

Also speaking, Sheikh Omar Jallow, director for Literature, Performing and Fine Arts, expressed similar sentiments, noting that their office strategy is to outsource the fine artists whom they know are very much into revolutionary work and have their revolutionary ideas.

He further informed that this is not the first time the Venezuelan embassy is facilitating cultural projects; that three years ago some Gambian artists were invited to perform in Venezuela.