–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA):
The new Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Juan Sell has said Nigeria and Spain needed to build on existing bilateral reletions for sustainable growth.
The envoy made the call on Thursday during a news conference held at the Spain Ambassador’s residence in Abuja, to announce a Spanish writer Ana Briongos and the team of LagosPhoto to present the cultural project “Unpacking the Suitcase”.
“Unpacking the Suitcase ” was derived from a true life experience of a Nigerian student Prince Adewale Emmanuel, who studied in Barcelona 60 years ago.
Emmanuel after three years of his stay in Barcelona left for London with his wife Elizabeth and leaving a suitcase behind in Spain with his friend Mrs Luisa Guadayol. Mrs Guadayol is the mother of the writer Mrs. Ana Briongos.
Mr Sell said that on his arrival to Nigeria he noticed that both countries had a long standing relations both diplomatic and economic.
It is no news that both Nigeria and Spain had collaborated in the fight against illegal immigration, holding meetings on the subject and numerous exchanges.
Also, experts of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the National Agency for the fight against Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) have participated in various seminars and conferences in Spain.
Speaking also, Mrs. Briongos, a Spainsh writer and the custodian of the suitcase said that after her mother passed on many attempts to return the suitcase to Prince Emmanuel prove abortive and she decided to open the suitcase and the content of the case tells a story of two countries.
According to the writer, in 1967, Prince Emmanuel enrolled as a student at the art school Escuela Massana in Barcelona. Three years later Emmanuel and his wife Elizabeth decided to leave Barcelona for London.
Emmanuel left a suitcase and the content with his close friend Mrs Guadayol in Barcelona, when she passed away in 2016, her daughter Briongos was resolute in her quest to return the suitcase to Prince Emmanuel or his family in Nigeria.
She said: “The material found in the suitcase points to different social and cultural moments in the history of Nigeria and beyond: the Nigerian Civil War, the cultural ties between two countries.
“Also, in it was the Nigeria and Spain, the legacy of the artist, the story of emigration, Nigerian studio photography of the 70s.”
Mr Azu Nwagbogu, Director LagosPhoto, said nothing encapsulate the bond of friendship between people and countries and that was what was found in the suitcase of Prince Emmanuel.
He added that the project had made him to think of restitution of recovering one’s identity, adding that the archive in the suitcase cumulates’ the 1967 to 70 and its tells about so many story at the time.
He urged lovers of art, writers, photographers and the general public to come for more interpretation of the content in the suitcase during the 2022 LagosPhoto Festival schedule to hold in October.
Parts of the items found in the suitcase are: candles, 600 photos, 100 letter both written and received, painting , classical drawings among others.
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