Evelyn Osagie uses Arts to preach peace

After a successful debut outing in February this year in Agege, a suburb of Lagos, multitalented Evelyn Osagie, a literary journalist with the The Nation newspapers, who is also known on stage as “Evelyn D’Poet” yesterday, July 20th, 2018 took her message of peace and unity to Somolu in Lagos where she preaches these through poetry and arts works.

The event tagged “WORDS MEET IMAGES” featured Evelyn Osagie’s TOGETHER SERIES, an outdoor Art exhibition with open-air poetry and musical performances. “WORDS MEET IMAGES (WMI) has become a melting pot that not only brings together different art forms, but also people from various places and social strata together. This edition focused on the use of poetry and visual art (photography) to drive home the need for peace and unity.

The 2019 general elections are drawing nearer and Evelyn Osagie believes that, in the face of diverse national and security concerns, there is the need to continue with her campaign for peace and unity. 
Holding this edition of her peace campaign at Somolu was intentional, Osagie said. Somolu, according to her, has high concentration of people of different tribes and has nurtured and produced many talents from its streets, including the widely celebrated founder of Crown Troupe of Africa, Segun Adefila.
She told the Art-Muse Fair that she desire to use her campaign through arts and poetry to remind people of the need to make proper use of 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 for the arts.”

She promised to bring a unique freshness to poetry performance and visual art, stressing, “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”.

This second “SOLO TOGETHER SERIES outdoor installation has as its theme “Vote With Ink Not Blood”. The essence is to reawaken the importance of love, peace and unity as indispensable ingredients of development of Nigeria, especially as the country moves towards another general elections.

Besides rekindling the appreciation of art on the street, the event displayed how art beautifies not just the environment but also our world. She said the event “is driven by conversation and the need to preserve the environment”.

Osagie has 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 art forms, especially photography and performance poetry. These, she uses to support different causes, ranging from child and women’s rights, physical and mental disabilities, HIV/AIDS, to global peace, art and culture as well as tourism, among others.

She imagines a photograph as unspoken memory garnished with experience, and frozen in time. The photography works, 16” by 20” sizes in coloured and monochrome, are framed on firewood, bamboo and scraped wood with Uli and Nsibidi symbols and hung on trees, or placed on mats to show that art beautifies every space. The images explore the metaphoric interaction between man, the environment (nature), animals and inanimate objects (bags) towards harmony and the attendant power play between them and how this affects our existence.

Catching each moment in a flash, she says, gives her the most satisfaction as an artist and journalist. Each piece is symbolic of the silent cry in Nigeria today – Peace. Her poetic performances and outdoor installations are meant to remind Nigerians of the need for peace during and after the elections, while encouraging us to pursue peaceful means to making our grievances known.  Osagie, 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 D’poet has performed poems at diverse artistic events and festivals in Edo, Oyo State, Iseyin, Ibadan, Lagos which include “The Night of The Poet” during Lagos Black Heritage Festival, WORDSLAM, and Bogobiri (Ire CELEBRATES),