By Ezinne Azunna
The African Continent is set to record a historical event with the debut of The African Maritime Art Exhibition (AMAE) which will be held in Lagos on Saturday October 29th, 2022.
AMAE, is curated by Hazi’s Art, an arm of Maritime TV Africa to tell Africa’s marine/ maritime story using images and artistic impressions, painting, drawing, digitised photography, textile print, sculpture and many more.
Speaking about AMAE, its Lead Curator, Ezinne Azunna, said the event which is a portraiture of the sea and human interface with it is open to the public.
“From ports and jetties to ships and the sea, rivers and estuaries, coastal communities, beach scenes, seafaring, marine life and science, seascapes and all art that tell the story of various eras in Africa as a Maritime Continent. We also showcase policy drives by organisations, campaigns and causes on sea piracy, hope spots, marine plastics, marine environment, search and rescue, oil spillage, climate change, women in maritime, research and marine investigations, International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974 to mention a few,” Ezinne said.
She posited that AMAE is important because of the aesthetic and semiotic value it brings to the maritime sector, highlighting it as critical to national existence and economic advancement. “It portrays history as well as ongoing efforts/developments and current policies. If a maritime painting or print interests someone, that person is one step closer to learning about the industry, its history and would appreciate our maritime heritage better. The AMAE is a conscious visual engagement with the public to further push the industry’s agenda,” she explained.
Although Marine/Maritime art is still very vague in Africa, history dates the sea back to before human creation, while marine art only began towards the end of the Middle Age and so, AMAE is set to showcase the enormous potential, vastness, beauty, viability and worth of the industry, framing the sea as an enduring source of opportunity, economic advantage, creativity and innovation, and sadly peril if ignored.
The maiden edition of AMAE, which will undoubtedly elevate local maritime art and Africa’s collective marine space to the international scene, will hold on Saturday, October 29, 2022 from 2PM-6PM at Alliance Française, Mike Adenuga Centre, 9 Osborne Rd, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Engr Mu’azu Jaji Sambo is expected to deliver the keynote address as Special Guest of Honour while the nation’s foremost Distinguished Professor of Maritime History, Prof Ayodeji Olukoju will chair the event.
Chief Godswill Uche Nwanoruo, the Commissioner of Transportation, Abia State will also grace the occasion which will draw participation from key stakeholders, Museums and Art Socities, Embassies and representatives of foreign maritime nations, academic institutions, NGOs and lovers of maritime and of art.
After the maiden edition, the organisers hope to continue AMAE as an annual event hosted by different African Maritime nations.