We are currently looking into mapping craft spaces in South Africa (with a focus on Cape Town). This includes markets, craft centres and galleries, potteries, community workshops and network organisations.
If you know of any other places that should be included on this map please send us the name and location (as precise as possible) using the contact form on the website.
On the 11th of April we hosted an incredibly talented and enthusiastic group of creative intermediaries from Lagos and beyond.
The event was hosted by a new art education / co-working space in Ikoyi called Angels & Muse, providing an inspirational atmosphere for our workshop with art showcased in our surroundings.
The event began with a brief presentation from the UK team which introduced the role of creative intermediaries and started off the discussion in relation to developing sustainable creative economies. The presentation is available to download below.
The second session of discussion, led by Lauren England, focused on the needs and experiences of creatives. We considered their needs in Lagos/Nigeria and the challenges they face in moving from start-ups to establish businesses. Many participants highlighted the difficulties for creatives in establishing and maintaining a healthy supply chain and working with other creatives and non-creatives to develop their business. It was discussed how this often resulted in individuals having to cover too many multiple roles (from artists, to promoters, to printers and sellers), which gave them less room to be creative.
After a coffee break the discussion led by Dr Roberta Comunian focused on creative intermediaries, trying to define them and consider how they work together in the Nigerian context and understand what knowledge and skills they require to face current challenges. Participants highlighted the importance for intermediaries to have experience as creatives themselves, but also the importance of developing specific knowledge of the sector they work in. Finally, they discussed how value and integrity were key to the work of creative intermediaries.
After a lovely and generous Nigeria lunch we were back for more discussion around mobility and international networks; many highlighted the importance of international exchanges and training abroad. However, an issue around selection criteria for international competitions was raised; as Nigerians tend to undertake training and establish themselves later in life than their international counterparts, they are often at a disadvantage in entering competitions targeted at 25 to 35 years old producers or creatives.
thanks to Oguntade Olubola for the photos here above
The final session of the day was led by Yemisi Mokuolu from Hatch Africa reflecting on the current (and potential) role of technology in bringing together intermediaries. Here participants highlighted the importance of storytelling on social media to connect with local and global audiences. They expressed a wish for a digital hub connecting creatives across Nigeria but also acknowledged the challenges in developing and maintaining such a platform.
As organisers we felt everyone had been extremely generous and friendly at the event and by the end of the day we felt like a little family. Many of the participants also joined the team at an evening event organised by one of the participants Kamil Olufowobi at Terra Kulture, a Lagos cultural centre. The event included a debate on ‘Hollywood Meets Nollywood’ with special guest Abi Matesun and notable Nollywood personalities as panellists, with Stephanie Busari, CNN Africa, as the moderator. At the end of the event Kamil kindly provided Dr Roberta Comunian with an opportunity to introduce the research project to the audience.
Event report written by Dr Roberta Comunian and Lauren England
Discussing Creative Economy at Unilag: the role of higher education in the creative economy of Nigeria
On the 9th of April we co-hosted an interesting workshop at the University of Lagos – Department of Creative Arts. In the morning we were welcomed by a team at the Department of Creative Arts, led by Prof Duro Oni and Prof. Peju Layiwola and also by Prof. Muyiwa Falaiye, Dean of the Faculty of Arts. The Department of Creative Arts provided a very engaging landscape to the event with plenty of art works and music bursting out of the venue.
The event took place also thanks to the support of King’s Worldwide Partnership Fund and the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at King's College London
In the morning after a brief presentation about the project and higher education and the creative economy collaborations by Dr Roberta Comunian (King’s College London) we engaged in discussion on the local context of Lagos and Nigeria.
Maria Williams provided input from the British Council Nigeria’s activities in relation to higher education and their report on the sector. Participants highlighted the difficulties in sometimes being heard by policy and policy makers but also acknowledged the importance of forming groups and larger networks to make themselves visible.
After a lovely traditional Nigeria lunch, we focused our discussion on education and creative careers in Nigeria/Lagos facilitated by Lauren England (King's College London) and discussed how universities connect with the creative sector via student placements and common curriculum development opportunities. The final research discussion around universities, research and the creative economy led to the importance of universities making their work more available to the outside and establishing long-term collaborations with the sector.
This led to the introduction of Dr. Patrick Okonji from the Research & Innovation office, who explained to our participants the opportunities available to establish a Research Centre within the University of Lagos around the creative economy.
The day concluded with a visit to the Department of Arts art gallery as well as the Entrepreneurship & Skill Development Centre located close to the Department of Arts. We were showed around by the director of the Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre Ass Professor Sunday Abayomi Adebisi.
Finally, our research team and hosts from the Department of Arts where able to meet with Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe to seek his support towards promoting an ARUA (African Research University Association) Centre of Excellence around the arts and creative economy.
Report written by Dr Roberta Comunian and Lauren England; Photos by Dr Roberta Comunian, Lauren England and Prof Duro Oni.
Network Research Blog
The blog aims to collect ideas, reflections and updates from researchers working on creative economies in Africa. If you are interested in contributing please get in touch via our contact form