Viewing UN At 70 Through Students’ Artistic lens4
As part of activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos, recently organised an art exhibition for primary and secondary school students at its office. The exhibition had six schools from Lagos, namely, Outliers School, Surulere, Ojodu Junior Grammar School, Ikeja, Intesida School, Alagbado, Sunglee School, Covenant University Secondary School, Ota and Southfield Academy, Shomolu, Lagos.
Secretary General of United Nations Association of Nigeria (UNAN), Mr. Olowabi Ganiwu said the UN’s intention was to showcase children’s talent through their knowledge of UN in artistic form. “What we are doing today is a way of appreciating the UN for what it has done for the world in the last 70 years,” he said.
Ganiwu said the UN started operations on October 24, 1945, when World War II ended and since then it has been doing a lot to sustain peace around the world. “These children are aware of what the UN is doing, and with this event the children will really know that once we come together, we can achieve so much.”
He further shed light on UNAN, which he said was always in partnership with the UN. “The UNAN has a programme called ‘Model UN;’ it is one of the programmes we are going to run permanently next year”.
National Information Officer of UNIC, Mr. Oluseyi Soremekun gave a brief history of UN and also highlighted some of its functions.
According to Soremekun, “The art exhibition is what the UN means to the child; that is why we have asked the various schools to express in artistic form their own understanding of the UN, from oil paints on canvass to pencil drawing, tie-and-dye, modeling, textile design and waste-to-wealth cultural Industry exhibits, the students put on display a total of seventy-seven (78) creative works of arts which reflected their rich knowledge of the works of the UN and what the organisation stands for.
Curating their works, the students explained the UN as a Peace-keeper, the human rights protector, a gender equality advocate, an umbrella organisation of all nations and the hope of the people. They also exhibited works that show what the UN does in the area of environment, housing, culture, education and health.
Oluseyi also pointed out some of the challenges facing the world today – arm conflict, terrorism, poverty, and diseases among others.
Mr. Samson All Is Well of Intesida School said his students came prepared for the event with art works ranging from painting, drawing and textile, depicting the effect of the UN on the world.
Mrs. Eniola Olajobi of Outliers School noted that though they were the only primary school represented, the children were able to do some drawings on how the UN is connecting nations by encouraging peaceful coexistence.
A student of Sunglee School, Williams Odusami did a work of painting showing the UN as an umbrella providing cover for the whole world, a shield against sickness, hunger, war, poverty and so.
Mr. Adewuyi Afolabi of Covenant University Secondary School urged teachers of arts to spend more time with their students as it would help them realise their passion. Also, Mrs. Olatunde Adebimpe of Ojodu Junior Grammar School lamented that they were the only public school represented, and urged the UN to always involve public schools in their activities.
One of the highlights of the event was a musical rendition in commemoration of the UN at 70 by a student of Yaba College of Technology.
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