Arab Today, arab today benin smartphone app brings museums into homes
Last Updated : GMT 04:24:12
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Most people lack money to travel farther afield

Benin smartphone app brings museums into homes

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Benin smartphone app brings museums into homes

New smartphone application that allows people to view works of art
Cotonou - Arab Today

Admiring paintings or photographs by Africa's greatest contemporary artists is a luxury in Benin, where museums are scarce and most people lack money to travel farther afield.

But a new application developed by a foundation based in Cotonou, the largest city in this West African state, is seeking to bring art to the masses by allowing anyone with access to a printer and smartphone or tablet to turn their place into a museum.

"For 10 years, the Zinsou Foundation has been striving to bring contemporary art to people who don't have access to it because we think culture is a right, not a luxury," said Marie-Cecile Zinsou, the Franco-Beninese head of the foundation that created the "Wakpon" app.

Budding art enthusiasts need only print out colourful images available on the app's website onto pieces of A4 paper and hang them on the walls of their home, school or government building -- just like paintings in a museum.

Visitors can then aim at these images with their smartphones or tablets using the app, and a painting by Benin's voodoo artist Cyprien Tokoudagba or a photo of Nigerian hairstyles by J.D. Okhai Ojeikere will pop up, alongside information on the work of art.

All in all, 44 pieces by 10 artists are available on the app, all taken from the foundation's collection.

- Low visibility for African art -

Zinsou said she convinced her father, who has just been named Benin prime minister, to set up the foundation after she realised that like many other African countries, there were no museums in Benin to showcase the continent's contemporary art, despite its growing popularity elsewhere.

Leading African artists were virtually absent from art sales just a decade ago but now contemporary works feature strongly in several international auction houses.

Bonhams in London recently described the continent as "one of our hottest properties on the art block".

Since 2005, the foundation's show room in Cotonou puts on free exhibitions of Beninese and foreign artists, and once showcased US legend Jean-Michel Basquiat -- a first in Africa.

In 2013, it opened a museum in an old building of the former slave trade hub of Ouidah, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) away from Cotonou.

All in all, nearly five million people have visited both places in a decade -- most of them them children who often come the first time with their schools, return on their own and then bring their families.

Zinsou said the Wakpon app -- which once downloaded does not need to be connected to the Internet -- aims to widen access to a broader population.

- 'Tomorrow's museum' -

Mobile phone penetration has been low in Benin, particularly for smartphones, because of poor infrastructure.

But competition from international mobile operators and under-sea cables is increasing take-up, as prices come down for both handsets and Internet services.

"This application is amazing," said Beninese artist Romuald Hazoume, whose work has been showcased abroad and is also available on the app.

"African people will be able to have access to their culture, to their artists who are known around the world but whom they cannot see due to a lack of exhibition sites, of money or visas.

"It's like a bait. People will know works of art, their story, and they will want to see them for real. It's tomorrow's museum and it's what all big collections should be doing."

In the Cotonou showroom, those who visit are given a Wakpon demonstration at the end of their tour.

"Wakpon" means "come and see" in Fon, the most widely spoken local language in Benin.

"It's great. My cousin has a good telephone, I'm going to plead with him to activate the application and our entire district will take a look," says Obed, 15, who came with his class.

Zinsou said people in Africa had a tendency to think that culture will emerge only once their countries are developed.

"But no, culture is essential for development," she added.
Source: AFP

 

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today benin smartphone app brings museums into homes Arab Today, arab today benin smartphone app brings museums into homes

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Jordan airline suggests flyers 'talk'

GMT 11:59 2017 Friday ,24 March

Jordan airline suggests flyers 'talk'
Arab Today, arab today 5 Crafty Must-Have Limited-Budget Ideas

GMT 17:03 2017 Saturday ,25 March

5 Crafty Must-Have Limited-Budget Ideas
Arab Today, arab today Rebel supporters flood Yemen streets

GMT 06:39 2017 Monday ,27 March

Rebel supporters flood Yemen streets

GMT 11:01 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

Twitter suspends more accounts linked to 'terrorism'

GMT 09:57 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Google tools up to fix ads in wrong places

GMT 08:35 2017 Monday ,20 March

French presidential candidates face off

GMT 10:39 2017 Tuesday ,14 March

Yahoo names post-spinoff management team

GMT 11:45 2017 Saturday ,11 March

Facebook search traps Italian mobster in Mexico

GMT 13:29 2017 Friday ,10 March

LVMH to unite all brands via The Industry
View News in Arabic - Media: وسائل الإعلام أخبار
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Yemen children dream of school

GMT 07:25 2017 Friday ,24 March

Yemen children dream of school
Arab Today, arab today Trump to roll back Obama clean power plan

GMT 11:10 2017 Monday ,27 March

Trump to roll back Obama clean power plan
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful
Arab Today, arab today Uber grounds self-driving cars

GMT 09:11 2017 Monday ,27 March

Uber grounds self-driving cars
Arab Today, arab today Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design

GMT 13:22 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design
Arab Today, arab today Nermein Al Fekki films “Foxes in the Valley”

GMT 09:58 2017 Saturday ,25 March

Nermein Al Fekki films “Foxes in the Valley”
Arab Today, arab today Salvage of South Korea's Sewol ferry

GMT 04:51 2017 Friday ,24 March

Salvage of South Korea's Sewol ferry

GMT 06:21 2017 Friday ,24 March

MP submits a petition to dismiss university head

GMT 18:57 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Accessories designer reveals her new collection

GMT 15:25 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

2017 already marked

GMT 13:26 2017 Friday ,24 February

Expresses Algerian history by woody figures

GMT 20:03 2017 Saturday ,25 March

Health expert warns from dust sensitivity

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

US, Britain ban laptops on flights

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 19:27 2017 Saturday ,11 March

Boualsof launches "Priestess Kahina" collection
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday