Gambian book in use at European university

Monday, July 23, 2018

Five Gambians who graduated from The Gambia College have co-authored a book with the Academic of Fine Arts in the University of Helsinki, Finland titled: “Sand and Indigo.” The book has been launched and set to be used at the Department of Fine Arts in the Helsinki university,

One of the Gambian authors who contributed in the book Ebrima S. Nyassi, revealed to The Point that The Gambia project started when Pirjo Latomäki-Jagne and Pirjo Vallius who are responsible of XamXamleh Art Promotional Associations art programme in The Gambia, requested help from Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts, Helsinki in developing the curriculum and visual art instruction programme for XamXamleh School of Art and Design.

“Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland provided financial support to build a school (Kulttuuriyhdistys Gepardiry) and Sanchaba village provided a land. The steering group of the school had submitted an application to UNESCO for the additional funding needed to run the study programmes at the school.

“Art education is not systematically supported in Gambian schools, although Gambia College offers an art and craft teacher study programme. There was both an obvious need for art education and a newly built school building waiting when The Gambia project started in 2015, financed by the University of the Arts Helsinki. Thus, the development of an art school was the core of The Gambia project, and the main aim of their study was to support the task,” Nyassi explained.

In the Academy of Fine Arts, he said, there had emerged ideas to expand visual art education into intercultural spaces in order to question and develop the approaches to and essences of art making and to explore what art is.

 Mr. Njassi, however, called on the government, private sectors and responsible citizens to help sponsor the launching and publication of the book and consider it to be used in school. “The book is important for all offering arts because it teaches you a lot. We have other foreign authors but five of us Gambians shared and wrote our knowledge in the book and it’s now being used in one of the European universities. That’s a joy for us and the entire Gambia because it’s never easy for whites to accept African book to educate them especially in their educational career,” he observed.

He added the other Gambians whose co-authored the book are; Ebrima A. Ceesay, Bakary Camara, Carlos Mendy, and Joseph John Gomez.

“We really need support from higher education and the government in particular because education is very vital for country’s development.”

“We are young people who are contributing our quotas in national development and we hope the government and other responsible citizens will help us achieve our goals. We also thank our coordinator Alfusainey Gano for his contribution in making things happen,” he concluded.


Author: Pa Modou Cham