Discovering Africa Through Textile: Odilia Curates Native Fabrics in Dutch Museum

Discovering Africa Through Textile: Odilia Curates Native Textiles at Veenkoloniaal Museum
Discovering Africa Through Textile: Odilia Curates Native Textiles at Veenkoloniaal Museum

From 26th of November 2023 to 20th May 2024, the founder of International African School Odilia Anyachi Okonga will be curating diverse indigenous African textiles in Netherlands in collaboration with the Veenkoloniaal Museum Veendam, on a project titled Discovering Africa through Textile, which is aimed at positioning contemporary Africa at the center of fashion and culture.

In great anticipation of the exhibition that will commence this weekend, the  Veenkoloniaal Museum Veendam has released a statement on their website, promising  to daze  their visitors and participants to the event, by introducing them into a new understanding of Africa through the prism of  cultural textiles and ancient fabrics , their rich history , origins cultural meaning and symbolic interpretations.

‘’Africa is an immense continent with very diverse cultures and fashion, a continent that few really know anything about.   We connect this continent in a positive way with people from our region who are inspired by Africa. Just like Europe, Africa is flooded with cheap textiles. However, there are also beautiful ‘Made in Africa’ fabrics available. Fabrics that often symbolically tell a story and are usually made from natural substances. ‘’ excerpt from press statement on the Veenkoloniaal Museum website stated.

“For example, the Ugandan bark cloth can certainly be used to make modern blazers and hats. But there is so much more to discover! Because do we know Bògòlanfini, also called mud cloth? This cloth has become a symbol of Mali’s cultural identity, or the Kitenge, a colorful printed black cotton fabric from Kenya. And what about the wax print, which was once invented in the Netherlands in 1850 for the Indonesian market, but they did not think the print was beautiful or perfect enough. “

“We will organize various workshops in the spring of 2024, so keep an eye on our website. Come to the Veenkoloniaal Museum in Veendam because there is so much more to discover “ the Veenkoloniaal Museum press statement concluded.

Expectations are very high on the depth of African history that will be on display at the Veenkoloniaal Museum Veendam in Netherlands, the events will also feature the premiere of  a documentary on an indigenous African fabric ‘ Akwete’  weaved  on traditional looms since the 15th century,  by the Igbo Women of Akwete  in the eastern part of Nigeria, produced by International African School in association with All Africa Media Network, alongside other surprises.

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