Evelyn D’Poet takes ‘Words Meet Poetry’ to Somolu
After a successful outing in Agege, a suburb of Lagos, multitalented Evelyn Osagie, known on stage as Evelyn D’Poet, is set to take the message of peace and unity to Somolu. She would be mounting her campaign
On July 20, 2018, Evelyn would be holding WORDS MEET IMAGES 2.0 on Apata Carnal at Oladeinde Street, off Akpata Street, Somolu, Lagos.
It will feature her TOGETHER SERIES Outdoor Art Exhibition and open-air poetry and musical performances. “WORDS MEET IMAGES (WMI) is a melting point that not only brings together different art forms, but also people from various places and social strata – this time its focus is using poetry and visual art (photography) to drive home the need for peace and unity. The maiden held in Iju Road Agege on February 24, 2018, a place where people from different ethnic groups have co-existed peacefully for decades,” Evelyn said.
With the countdown to 2019 elections already on, and in the wake of diverse national and security concerns, Evelyn is set on carrying her community-based art campaign of peace and unity to the streets through her photography and performance poetry.
“MY SECOND SOLO TOGETHER SERIES outdoor installation has as its theme “Vote With Ink Not Blood”. It is meant to reawakens the importance of love/peace as indispensable continuum in our polity, especially as countdown to 2019 has already begun. And besides rekindling the appreciation of art on the street, it will be showcasing how art can beautify not just the environment but our world. It is driven by conversation and the need to preserve the environment,” she added.
Osagie, who currently works with The Nation newspaper, is a multi-talented artist with a perceptive mind for creative details and an eye for images. She is a proponent of “Poetry for All Seasons” and expresses her voice through diverse arts, especially photography and performance poetry. She uses her pieces to supports different causes – child/women’s rights, physical and mental disabilities, HIV/AIDS, global peace, art/culture/tourism, and more.
According to Evelyn, the choice to hold the second edition of her travel art initiative in Somolu is intentional.
She stated: “This is because Somolu has a high concentration people of different tribal base and has nurtured and produced lots of talents on the streets, like the widely-celebrated founder of Crowne Troupe of Africa, Segun Adefila etc. On its streets are more talents that need to be discovered and nurtured. It is hoped that this event will remind the people of the need to tap what has become Somolu’s selling points – THEIR TALENTS.
“It is interesting to note that the people of Somolu, including its Council, welcomed me with open arms. This goes to show their love and promotions of the arts. It is my hope that, without waiting for an Emmanuel Macron, the French President who came to Nigeria and discover a talented young Nigerian boy, to come and discover one of their talented children, they would transfer the kind of love they shown me to nurturing the talents around them.”
She will be bringing a unique freshness to poetry performance and visual art. Evelyn says: “Both are tools in advocating for a better world for us and our children. Performance poetry is not new to the people what is new is the mode and language (English) with which it is employed, bringing freshness to an age-long art form.
Evelyn imagines photograph as unspoken MEMORY garnished with experience, frozen in time. The works (photographs of 16” by 20” sizes in coloured and monochrome) are either framed on firewood, bamboo and scraped wood with Uli and Nsibidi symbols and hung on trees, or placed on mat to show that art beautify every space. The images in her explore the metaphoric interaction between man, their environment (nature), animal and inanimate objects (bags) towards harmony and the attendant power play as it affects our existence.
Catching each moment in a flash, she says, gives me the most satisfaction as an artist and journalist. Each piece is symbolic of the silent cry in our country today – PEACE. “The need for peace in our polity at this time cannot be overstated. But to achieve a BETTER AND SAFER Nigeria for all, the people must take proactive steps to end it.
And employing the “UNITY IN OUR DIVERSITY” is a major driver of the peace and harmony we dream. And art is that vehicle for driving true CHANGE.
“My poetic performances and outdoor installation are, therefore, meant to remind us of the need for peace (both during and after the elections), while encouraging us to pursue peaceful means to making our cases known as we move towards deeper into another election year. If we forget the reason why we must fight for the peace and unity in our land, LET ART, NATURE, OUR CHILDREN AND ANIMALS REMIND US,” she said.
Osagie, known also as Evelyn D’Poet on stage, blends her poetry with contemporary and traditional motifs, images, songs, and speech patterns while drawing from traditional African theatre. She also mixes performance with elements of folklore, myths, songs, and sometimes employs masks, drum rhythms, music and dance to express her poetic thoughts.
Osagie has performed her poems and that of others before at diverse artistic events/festival in Edo, Oyo State (Iseyin, Ibadan – the 65th birthday of Prof Ayo Olukotun in May, 2018 at Lead City University), Ogun State (at the First Lady Olufunso Amosun’s 50th birthday event) and across Lagos, such as United States Consulate, Lagos, German Embassy in Lagos, CORA’s Lagos State Book and Arts Festival (LABAF), The Night of The Poet during Lagos Black Heritage Festival, WORDSLAM, Bogobiri (Ire ELEBRATES), the Association of Nigeria Author (ANA), MUSON Centre, etc.