The rise of COVID-19 has forced some artists and creatives to explore the option of online exhibitions.
For instance, with galleries and museums temporarily closed, a Nigerian fine art photographer, Chudy Ogobegwu, is showcasing African photos and literary works in an online exhibition tagged ‘The Peace Exhibit’.
The exhibition, which began on Sunday, is aimed at raising awareness on depression and stir up conversations about mental health.
It features a collection of art portraits and literary works created by photographers, artists, and writers around Africa.
According to the initiator of the project, the exhibition will also explore themes like and the search for the “personal peace” that eludes so many.
Mr Ogobegwu, who revealed this in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, said, “the exhibition, through an array of fine art portraits and literary works that are both beautiful and heart-wrenching, will challenge you to see the world differently and learn empathy”.
He added that the dark themes explored by the contributing photographers and writers “represent the everyday experiences of people struggling with depression and anxiety”.
He said, “Birthed at a time plagued with uncertainty and fear, with global anxiety levels higher than most people have ever witnessed, we hope this project, though starting as a whisper, grows into a loud, undeniable global voice that speaks to people struggling with depression and says to them “YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE”.
The exhibition will feature weekly video conference calls for creatives across the continent.
Mr Ogobegwu, who is also a concert and event photographer, said it q African creatives an opportunity to discuss each others’ works, the challenges they are facing in a plagued world, “and how they are looking after their mental health.”
“The hope is that by hearing the realities of creatives from across the continent and learning from what is working for them, participants who are struggling with anxiety and depression will be armed with hope and practical tools they can use to keep themselves at peace,” he noted.
Mr Ogobegwu said depression, anxiety, and mental health problems are serious issues that don’t get talked about enough in Africa.
This is why he believes his project will help spark up an Africa-wide conversation and helping many people who are suffering.
On his future goals, he said, “we look forward to taking the exhibition on tour and spreading the impact it has had on our visitors across the continent and beyond”.
The exhibition went live on the website, thepeaceexhibit.com and will run through July 18.
Partners include Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI), AVON Healthcare, and Strong Minds, all organisations that provide professional help to Africans struggling with depression and other mental health challenges.
Jayne Augoye is an assistant editor and covers the entertainment and lifestyle beat for PREMIUM TIMES. She has a master's degree in Media and Communication from the Pan Atlantic University. Twitter: @jaynejones