Cogent Arts & Humanities (Dec 2016)

Art as a tool for cross-cultural conversation: A personal dialogue with Igbo and Ainu art

  • Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 3, no. 1


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This paper examines the concepts and perceptions of art among the Igbo people of Nigeria and the Ainu people of Japan. From a practical point of view, it assesses each group’s notion of art and how it has fared in the postcolonial experience. It grapples with the the “lingering after-effects” of colonialism in the guises of postcolonialism and how they are manifested in the arts of the two groups. Since the postcolonial thrives on hybridity and contradictions as is reflected in the situations of postcolonial subjects, politically, economically, culturally and otherwise, the central concern in my work on one hand is the ebbing of Igbo creative enterprise and its systemic divorce from Igbo cultural heritage, and on the other hand, Ainu’s response to their cultural-political predicament through a resurgence of their arts and cultural production in light of their history in Japan and the challenges posed by a globalising world. The paper posits that the Ainu example may be the path for previously colonised cultures, including the Igbo of Nigeria.