Yesterday I attended a creative networking meet up, tagged #CounterPointLagos organized by Qudus Aderemi Onikeku and the YK Projects team. An event featuring an array of brilliant, creative Individuals doing great stuff, all assembled in the heart of Lagos. These are filmmakers, writers, poets, dancers, photographers, artists, musicians etc. The idea of counterpoint is to create a punctual meeting place, an evening centered on presentations, discussions, and encounters. Aside Being a space for ideas and networking, it is mostly a collaborative space, Where both artists and non-artists create a triangular blend of Creativity, Exchange and Recommendation.
This covers various kinds of creative expressions, from music to dance, spoken word, poetry, storytelling, theater, visual art, architecture, fashion, literature, technology, new media, design and putting spotlight on other unusual ideas by non-creative in other domains.
It was an exciting event, informal and a relaxed atmosphere. I actually did meet an e-friend of over two years – Okechukwu ofili (@ofilispeaks) – for the first time. I also met a lot of other Amazing guys like Qudus and Haji, The Amazing singer, Nneka, Filmakers Tunde Kelani and Kunle afolayan and a host of other brilliant people. I took some photo shots as well.. so if you must
thief use them, I’m sure wouldn’t hurt to credit the photographer.( me sef na smartphone photographer).
Back to the event. The discussion of the evening was centered on the Value of Art. Various Issues that came up revolved around the government’s attitude towards the industry, lack of proper and defined structure, poor infrastructure, frustrations faced by artists, piracy and a host of other challenges the creative industry in Nigeria face. The joke of the day for me was when the Popular Film maker, Tunde Kelani said that people often say to the creative guys “Yes, I know you write, you dance, you make films,…. But what do you do gan gan?” ..(meaning what exactly do you do for a living?).. we laughed it off, but in there lies a serious dilemma most creative people face.
Some of the questions that came up where:
How can you define, follow and succeed in a particular art?
Is passion and determination really enough?
How can you confidently say, I am a writer… I am a photographer or..i am a dancer to your parents, and it isn’t immediately traced to the village?
Are the artists and entertainment front runners today, who are largely supported by the media and clothed in overwhelming glamour delivering real value? Or Are the really talented guys poorly represented in the media and shaded away by all the glamour?
How can trained business managers effectively collaborate with artists for a mutual and profitable relationship?
As expected, they were lots of interesting contributions and insights. I remember a lady who said that the true value of art is the opportunity given to an individual to truly express himself the way he is, not the way he ought to be.
Your turn: In your own unique words, What is the true Value of Art?