Zambian Arts get a ‘TotalEnergies’ Boost.
Lusaka, Zambia / By Andrew-Knox B. Kaniki
They say one of the best places we can collectively view the past, present, or future is in an art gallery. As mythical as this may sound, an art gallery is one of the many, if not only place where people with different opinions, views, and ideologies meet, choose to agree, or disagree, with or without an exchange of words.
This couldn’t be more realistic at the inaugural art gallery exhibition, as the newly built and corporate-sponsored art gallery, opened in Lusaka recently. Filled with a photo collection and exhibition by Everyday Lusaka, an art exchange co-founded by Sana Ginwalla, the Art Gallery is built within the Alliance Française de Lusaka, with sponsorship from TotalEnergies Zambia. The inaugural exhibition running from Thursday 30th September for seven weeks brings together a collection of local photographers and artists in a way that can only be described as magnifique.
Officially opening the prestigious pubic art space, the Managing Director for TotalEnergies Zambia, Caroline Royer highlighted the continued need for Corporate Social Responsibilities in favour of the arts, as her company committed to long-term support.
“It is indeed a special day for TotalEnergies in Zambia as it plays a huge role in supporting local art. Cultural dialogue and heritage sit under the four pillars of our corporate social responsibilities, and this newly built gallery will stand to be part of Zambia’s history for many years.”
“While we strive to maintain our position as the number one oil marketing company in Zambia, it is not only through our provision of the best goods and services in the energy sector but by adding a growth strategy that provides meaningful support to Zambia in various sectors. In line with this strategy, TotalEnergies Zambia decided to support and sponsor the ‘TotalEnergies Art Gallery’ and we are excited to be part of the initiative, Royer shared.”
Highlighting Zambian Culture and preservation, Caroline Royer noted that it is a fundamental necessity, and everyone present was, therefore, a witness to history in the making, as the opening of the Art Gallery was the beginning of meaningful art.
Royer said the partnership with the Alliance Française de Lusaka, TotalEnergies Zambia’s mission on the art gallery is to foster arts that add an immersive experience and arouse visual representations to push forward a movement of peace and unity through capturing Zambia’s most unique features.
“I can assure you that in TotalEnergies drive, to continuously improves, you can expect our involvement in keeping the Zambian heritage alive, especially through art”, Royer said in closing.
And speaking at the event, His Excellency the French Ambassador to Zambia François Goldblatt, noted that the completion and implementation of the Art Gallery were made possible through dedication and teamwork, by all parties involved.
“We all know that some projects take time to see the light of day. In our case, several effects relating to the COVID-19 virus caused several delays for this space which was due to open last June.”
“In these tough times, it is paramount to broaden the dialogue between key actors and re-enforce strategic partnerships. The global COVID-19 crisis has had a profound impact on the arts and cultural sector in Zambia. The sector has seen radical disruptions to many of its routines, revenues, and relationships. Yet physical distancing has shown all of us, how much we need integral connections, culture and the arts” Ambassador Goldblatt shared.
The French Ambassador paid tribute to all key players noting the significance of the TotalEnergies Zambia’s continued commitment to its role as a French affiliate adding value to local arts through preservation and promotion of culture and acknowledged the Alliance Française de Lusaka for its open space and integration of culture and local arts on a broader scale.
Ambassador Goldblatt stated that “It was crucial to underline that the construction of the art gallery couldn’t be possible without the generous contribution from TotalEnergies Zambia. He added that TotalEnergies is a partner that continuously promotes and believes in cultural projects in Zambia”.
“Arts are a critical component of the quality of life, wellbeing and mental health which is even more true during these challenging times, and this gallery embraces both tradition and modalities, which constitute another valid platform for talented guests, and artists to get more and more visibility” — François Goldblatt, French Ambassador to Zambia.
The ‘TotalEnergies Art Gallery’ is located within the Alliance Française de Lusaka and is open to both local and international artists wishing to exhibit. There will be no entrance fee, as a number of exhibitions are already lined up until the end of the year.
An inaugural exhibition themed “Outside In” showcases Zambian works, from 7 different artists — bringing together contemporary & archival photographs, sound & art installations, graphic design prints, as well as Everyday Lusaka’s signature postcards!
The preservation of the Zambian culture is the responsibility of us all, and the TotalEnergies Art Gallery joins many other art galleries that exist to promote and preserve art, culture, and ideologies, by being an enabling space and platform for all artists, enthusiasts, and interests.
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/ PUBLISHED IN Sunday Mail 10th October, 2021 /