British Council And Polly Alakija Partner With Lagos State For The Rivers Of The World Art Exhibition

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Polly Alakija

The official displaying of the Flying flotilla under the remodeled Falomo Bridge took place on Children’s day 27th of May.

The students transformed 6 canoes into beautiful works of art which represents their immediate surroundings, while under the supervision of the world renowned Polly Alakija.

The Flying flotilla has recently been selected to represent Nigeria as part of the Rivers of the world art exhibition which is to be showcased at the prestigious Thames festival. The “Rivers of the World” is the Thames Festival Trust’s flagship art and educational project delivered in partnership with the British Council.  It is an international arts education programme that works with schools across the world and young people aged 12 to 14 to help inspire, educate and connect them to their local river and waterfront.

Working with professional artists, the participants explore environmental, social, ecological and cultural aspects of their river and communities. They then create immense artwork inspired by their findings which help share their stories, ideas and hopes. Pupils at Akande Dahunsi Junior Memorial School, Grace High School Gbagada, Boys’ Junior Academy, New Hall International School Lekki, Lagos State Junior Model College and Daregoes Private School Ipaja had the rare privilege of working with the amazing Polly Alakija to produce the flying flotilla.

The Canoes will be displayed under the Falomo Bridge till August . After which, they will be displayed on the South Bank of the River Thames in London just outside the Tate modern gallery for three weeks as part of Totally Thames festival. The transportation of the Flying Flotilla to the Totally Thames festival will be sponsored by the Lagos state government as part of the Lagos @ 50 celebrations and this avails Lagos State an opportunity to showcase the creativity of children in the state to the world at large and also further establish Lagos State as one of the emerging tourist destinations in the world.

Ahmed Mohammed a Director from the British Council said, the British Council strives to create opportunities and build trust internationally and with our local communities. We offer engagement with school leaders and influential policy makers, educators and young people in Nigeria through our schools projects.

He also added that they have a range of school projects that have helped young people and educators demonstrate an increased capacity in the skills, understanding and outlook required to work in a global economy and contribute responsibly to society, locally and globally. This is critically reflected in the River of The World Project, we aim to support teachers as they continue to prepare young people to live and work in a dynamic, fast-changing and interconnected world.

Polly Alakija, who is currently the Chairperson of Arts and Culture in Lagos state, thanked the various ministries in the state for the opportunity to leave her mark in this public space. She urged other state governments to emulate the good work being carried out by the Lagos State government as the creative industry remains an untapped resource that can sustain the economy of Nigeria.  She also gave thanks to the several organizations like MTN Nigeria, Dangote Group and Kansai Plascon that partnered with her to ensure the event was a success.

In her address, she noted that the government alone cannot solve all the problems of Nigeria and also the creative industry needs support from the private sector as it is obtainable in developed countries.

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