Book Highlights the Role of Culture in the Practice of
African Sign and Symbolism Systems
Ambassador Robin Sanders will discuss her book The Legendary Uli Women of Nigeria with Johnnetta Betsch Cole, the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, Tuesday, Feb. 10, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Following the discussion in the museum’s lecture hall on Sublevel 2, Sanders will sign copies of her book. The event is in celebration of Black History Month.
Sanders, the former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, will discuss the role of culture in African sign and symbol systems important to human cultural communication. Her research highlights the endangered practice of uli (pronounced “oo-lee”) and her field visits to Igbo villages with renowned uli activist, Krydz Ikwuemesi.
“Through our exhibitions and programs, the National Museum of African Art places well-deserved emphasis on Africa’s long history of writing and graphic systems and their role in the visual arts,” said Johnnetta Betsch Cole, director of the museum. “We are delighted to host the launch of Ambassador Robin Sanders’ book, which focuses on the contributions of women artists working with the graphic and communication system uli.”
“I truly believe that in order to understand and appreciate someone or another nation, one has to begin to respect and learn about their culture or their system as everything is a system—and a perspective on life and the world we live in together,” said Sanders. “The book launch at the National Museum of African Art will further salute the wonderful Nigerian women who work to keep this endangered cultural practice alive. I will continue to do my best to support them now and in the future.”
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