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December 13, 2019

ConferenceFirst roundtable of « Art Focus on Human Rights and Women’s Rights: Nigeria » in Barcelona

On 21-22 November 2019, took place the kick-off meeting of the project led by ICOM’s International Committee of Memorial Museums (ICMEMO) and ICOM Nigeria.

 The project « Art Focus on Human Rights and Women’s Rights: Nigeria », led by ICMEMO and ICOM Nigeria, intends to raise consciousness on a range of issues affecting women today, and how they inevitably impact the world. From the abductions of Boko Haram in Nigeria to the daily femicides in our towns worldwide, the work seeks to address child abuse and labor, sex slavery, early and forced marriage, sexual and reproductive rights, female genital mutilation and equal rights for women. The project will raise awareness on these issues through different tools such as a touring art and documentary exhibition, a website, workshops, and roundtables in different countries.

On 21-22 November 2019, the kick-off event of the project was hosted by the University of Barcelona, Spain. A collaboration of the European Observatory on Memories (EUROM) and ICMEMO, the roundtable entitled “Women, Art and Colonial Memory in Africa” explored and presented different independent projects related to the African colonial memory, in order to generate a dialogue between art, audiovisual communication, academic research, and gender intersection. Celeste Muñoz (historian, University of Barcelona) moderated the session which included speakers with different backgrounds: Ophelia León (Chair of ICMEMO), Márcia X (Puerto Rican American artist), Tania Adam (journalist and cultural manager) and Gustau Nerín (historian, University of Barcelona). On the second day, the audience had the opportunity to further the discussion with Louisa Onuoha (Chair of ICOM Nigeria), who showed and commented “The fettered years”, a video on human trafficking developed within the framework of the project and filmed as a docudrama to protect the victim’s identity. It is intended as the first of a series of awareness-raising videos that will be incorporated in the future exhibition and website in process.

Focusing on Nigeria as a starting point, the project will expand in the years to come, with the objective to bring the discussion in different regions around the world. In each country involved, local museum professionals and civil society organisations will be invited to contribute to the discussion, in order to reflect the specificities of women’s right issues in each country and to enrich the debate with local perspectives and experiences. Different international partners will also bring their expertise and support to the project, such as the Commonwealth Association of Museums, the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, the International Committee for Architecture and Museum Techniques, ICOM Slovenia and ICOM Armenia. In 2019, « Art Focus on Human Rights and Women’s Rights: Nigeria » has been selected by ICOM’s Strategic Allocation Review Committee to receive support from the ICOM Projects programme.

Interested organizations are invited to contact ICMEMO for more information about the project:

Website in process (available soon)