Potter’s Gallery Holds Art Exhibition For People With Disability

Potter’s Gallery, a Non-government Organisation in Nigeria, over the weekend, held the 7th edition of its art exhibition for People With Disability.

The exhibition tagged, ” Abuja Arts Ability Festival”, held on Saturday, December 3, 2022 in Abuja.

Creative Director, Potter’s Gallery Initiative, Mr Donald Unanka informed that the Organisation was a creative hub and a disability art Organisation that supports People With Disability using creative power of the art.

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Unanka added that, the Abuja Art Ability Festival was organised every year, as part of activities marking the international day of Persons With Disability which comes up every 3rd of December.

He said, the exhibition was organised to support people with disabilities showcase their creative and artistic potential and use that to connect them with different audiences, helping them to sell what they produce and in doing so, help them to permanently walk out of poverty.

On challenges faced by persons with disabilities in the arts and creative industry, Unanka said, “in the arts and creative industry, persons with disabilities are totally marginalised, there are no deliberate policies designed to ensure that persons with disabilities make maximum gain from the entire art and creative industry ecosystem.

“The Nigerian creative industry according to UNESCO, is the second largest in the world, it has a lot of potentials for persons with disabilities, especially in creating jobs and helping them to operate small and growing businesses in the entire value chain”.

He therefore, called on stakeholders in the arts and creative industry to implement the disability law so People With Disability could benefit maximally from the industry:

“We call on stakeholders in the arts and creative industry to first of all begin to implement the disability law because right now, we have a law and that law has a lot of instrument to compel both Government and private sector to show that people with disabilities are included, both in terms of appointments, jobs, and also, any intervention we’ll have in the creative industry. People With Disabilities are meant to benefit based on the new disability law.

“We do this event every year and this is the 7th year to showcase the abundant talent People With Disability have and also use that opportunity to create more Awareness on their plight”, he concluded.

One of the artists at the exhibition, Ms. Pelemo Nyajo said, she uses her poetry to advocate for better conditions for People With Disability and said more awareness should be created for the disability act:

“Poetry is a means through which I express myself and advocate for things that are our concerns in the society.

“My poetry and my art is used to amplify the voices of people that are not heard, marginalised.

“I only feel disabled when i am made disabled, That is through the infrastructures and facilities, there should be more accessibility in Government buildings.

“There should be more awareness by the National Orientation Agency on Acts already provided for us, there should be more implementation of the Act and there should be more accessible buildings and infrastructures”, Nyajo said.

Similarly, Susan Kelechi, a participant at the exhibition agreed that the initiative was a laudable venture. She further advised that People With Disability be given the opportunity to showcase themselves:

“The initiative is a laudable one, for persons with disabilities who ordinarily would have been in isolation, it’s an opportunity for them to express the creative parts within them.

“My advice to Nigerians regarding pwd, we are not objects of charity, we are human beings, we can do everything everyone can do. All we need is an accessible and enabling environment and we will thrive.

“We are over 31 million Nigerians with disabilities and it will be a great diservice to our nation to isolate this huge number of persons”, she said.

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