INDS Partners Oxford Varsity On Arts Workshop By Ethel Timi-Johnson

The Institute of Niger Delta Studies (INDS) and University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, have ended a collaborative workshop which held at the University of Port Harcourt Business School at Chinua Worlu Street, off Sani Abacha Road in the Government Reserved Area. The workshop which held on July 26 and 27, 2018 was packaged by the African Study Centre of the UK-based university.

Speaking on the theme and objective of the two-day workshop entitled, Arts of Oil: A Cultural History of Port Harcourt, Professor David Pratten of the African Study Centre at the University of Oxford, disclosed that the workshop was aimed at exploring the cultural history of Port Harcourt. The event which attracted researches on arts from different departments in the Faculty of Humanities, was coordinated by the Institute of Niger Delta Studies of the University of Port Harcourt.

“The objective of the workshop is to look at the relationship between such creative arts as music, literature, film, drama, sculpture, poetry and how they reflect the impact of the oil industry and oil economy of Port Harcourt and the Niger Delta generally. It brings to mind two questions: are these arts celebrating the wealth and development brought about by oil or are they protest arts from the negative effects of the oil industry and economy?” Professor Pratten asked rhetorically. He added that the workshop was also designed to bring together arts practitioners from different cultural and academic experiences to shape future research.

On the expected outcomes of the workshop, INDS Director, Professor Abi Derefaka, disclosed that there would be a series of publications locally and internationally and also in the Institute's Journal of Niger Delta Studies. “We are hoping that the research findings would be developed as part of future projects in both universities with follow-up workshops that would focus on different aspects of arts and related subjects,” he remarked.

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