Ways of exploiting the values and meaning of textiles in African Arts formed the main focus of the second Public Lecture series organised by the Institute of Niger Delta Studies in collaboration with Onyoma Research Centre, the Departments of History and Diplomatic Studies and Fine Arts and Design.
Delivering a Lecture titled: “Monuments in Cloth: African Textiles, Old and New”, at Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, last Wednesday, a Consulting Curator of African and Oceanic Art Fitchburg Art Museum, Professor Jean Borgatti, disclosed that “textile, text and context all stem from the Latin word, texture which means to weave and all are both literal and metaphoric references: the interlocking of threads to make cloth, the weaving of words to make a story or text and the interweaving of cultural and social practice to make a context.” 
Borgatti, who is of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Benin, noted that “African textiles historically woven by hand also creates text or tells stories in their pattern, how they are used and who wears them,” citing El Anatsui, as one of the few transnational artist, who has chosen to keep his home in Africa said: “Cloth is to the African what monuments are to Westerner” which means that cloth communicates and tells a story in Africa the same way monuments communicate in the West. 
The Guest Lecturer, who is also Research Fellow at Boston University and Clark University Massachusetts, respectively, pointed out that cloth “commemorates events and celebrates individuals in Africa,” adding that “cloths can also communicate directly to an audience through the incorporation of text and visual symbols that refer to text, notably proverbs as in Ashante Adinkra cloth and also serve as money in the past and continues to symbolise wealth or act as a store of values today.”
In his opening remark, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ajienka, expressed gratitude to the organisers of the event for attracting quality Guest Speakers, recalling that a visit to an Exhibition in Mali motivated him to plan a museum that would be dedicated to the legendary Akwete textile weavers. 
In his contribution, Emeritus Professor Ebiegberi Alagoa, expressed delight that the Lecturer linked textiles to monuments as documentations, stating that it is very important in historical documentation. 
On his part, Director, Institute of Niger Delta Studies, Professor Abi Derefaka, expressed gratitude to participants, hoping that students of both History and Diplomatic Studies and Fine Arts and Design would have learnt quite a lot from the Professor Borgatti's presentation.  Highlight of the event was the decoration of the Guest Lecturer with the University Muffler by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development), Professor Bene Willie-Abbey.
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