Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dr. Sanders' Uli Book Launch, Big Hit in Nigeria - See Media Clips, Read Reviews

A FEEEDS BlogSpot

Guardian Newspaper Photo, December 6, 2014 of Ambassador's Uli Book Launch in Lagos, Nigeria

Ambassador (Dr.) Robin Renee Sanders book "The Legendary Uli Women of Nigeria," was launched December 6, 2014 in the country that inspired its writing -- Nigeria, with support by Nigerian captains of industry and the media, non-governmental leaders, and recognized Nigerian academics leading the way in noting the ground breaking message of the book -- African sign and symbol systems such as Uli, although artistic, are important, social, and political information systems about the culture they represent.  The well-attended book launch provided an opportunity to raise the profile of this critical issue for Africa and the world to see sign and symbol systems differently and as viable information systems (click here to see Channel TV's clip of Uli Book launch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX6lX0PL874).
Using Uli as a case study in her Robert Morris University (RMU) doctoral dissertation which won an award from the University's Department of Communication and Information System for its uniqueness, the book hails from her field research about the issue of these very fragile information systems which Sanders calls "communication expressions," which are disappearing or endangered around the world. There are a number of them in Nigeria, with Uli being near the top of the list of disappearing completely, particularly the meanings of the motifs.
Dr. Sanders spent time also learning how to draw each of the motifs herself and her drawings and other graphics are included in the book along with some 116 color photographs which the Ambassador took of the Uli women she met and her travels to the region. In line with the tradition in Nigeria of a leading academic reviewing the book, Dr Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi, who worked with the Ambassador over the years in supporting income-generating projects for Uli practitioners, and who is a leading Nigerian scholar, provided his professional academic comments about the role the book is playing and will play as regards to endangered sign and symbol systems such as Uli (click here for Dr. Ikwuemesi's book review: http://blogitrrs.blogspot.com/). 
In addition leading Nigerian media outlets such as Channels TV Chairman John Momoh moderated a "conversation," segment with Dr. Sanders during the launch on the book, current US-Nigeria relations, and next steps following the US-Africa Summit. Nigeria's leading newspaper, The Guardian, also covered the event (photo above), and Sanders appeared the next morning on the Channels TV's main news magazine show, Sunrise Today (see this link for Channels TV Sunrise Show, which most focused on the current tension in the US-Nigeria relationship (Sanders' clip begins at minute 7:53 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O32vXzaFCx8).
Other notable and honored guest speakers at the event included, Estisalat Chairman Hakeem Belo-Oasgie, former Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank, Dr. Alex Otti, and one of Nigeria's leading women on SME, Entrepreneurship, and Development issues, Ms. Evelyn Oputu.  Key Guests such as George Ebuh of Petrolog, General Dambazu, Toke Ibru of The Guardian Newspaper, Terra Kulture Director Bola Austen-Peters, Arik Airways Chris Ndule and Nigeria's leading and icon artists Bruce Onoprakpeya and Chief Nike Okundaye were also present.  A portion of the book sales will go to the Nigerian organization the Art Republic, which assists with income-generating project training for Uli practitioners under the direction of Dr. Ikwuemesi.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Nigeria's Dr. Chuu Kyrdz Ikwuemesi Academic Review of Dr. Sanders Book on Nigeria's Uli


A FEEEDS BlogSpot
Book Title: The Legendary Uli Women of Nigeria: Their Life Stories in Signs, Symbols and Motifs

Author: Ambassador (Dr.) Robin Renee Sanders

Reviewer: Dr. Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi, Associate Professor of Fine Arts, University of Nigeria Nsukka

I met our distinguished author, painter and sculptor Ambassador Robin Rene Sanders at the threshold of her interest in Uli in 2008. Her hard work and unflagging interest over the last few years have crystallized into the book that we are gathered to celebrate today. The book is the story of the ripples of a vanishing heritage; it is the story of some vernacular classicists, vanguards of the disappearing Uli art of the Igbo.

What is Uli? It is the Igbo name for the indigo dye obtained from several species of plants. Usually, the berries of these plants are extracted and ground and the dye is pressed out of the marsh with the fingers and used as a medium for drawing on the human body with the help of the Uli knife (mma nw’Uli). Uli is also the name for the traditional Igbo mural, although the indigo dye does not form part of the palette in such painting. Both the body and wall variants are essentially a female tradition.

 

The Uli artists were highly respected group of women in Igbo society. The Uli art was usually passed down from one generation to another. This helped to ensure continuity. Many scholars and artists have studied the Uli art phenomenon from various perspectives at different times. It would appear then that Sanders’ book does not deal with a novel subject. However, her book, written in simple accessible prose, is anchored on fresh perspectives that bring issues to a new frontier. Beyond the long-standing studies of Uli as cosmetic art among the Igbo by many scholars since colonial times, Sanders affirms Uli’s other little acknowledged essence as an idiolect. The centralizing thesis of Sanders’ book is that Uli has extra-aesthetic and phenomenological qualities that inscribe it as a “communication expression”. In other words, beyond embodying beauty as framed in Igbo thought, art, and aesthetics, Uli captures and communicates in graphic terms the “lifeworld”, collective experience and philosophy, not just of “traditional Igbo women”, but of the Igbo society as a whole. Focusing on the lives and works of selected Uli women painters from Agulu, Inyi, Ogidi and Nri, Sanders book at once underscores Uli’s endangerment and its potential for new experiments as a creative idiom.

 

Carefully calibrated into sections and further enriched with clear images of relevant people, works and activities, The Legendary Uli Women of Nigeria appeals to readers of all background, although its place as a scholarly work in the history and development of Uli art cannot be denied. Unlike most researchers who have written about the Uli women classicists, Sanders, it must be noted, has practically supported efforts geared towards empowering these women economically through organized Uli retraining workshops that also aim to preserve the Uli heritage and Igbo culture. In a place where heroic materialism, westernization and the attendant nihilism have taken a heavy toll, Sanders’ book does one unique and significant thing. In the style of the mythical Sankofa, it looks backwards while moving forwards and it says one thing to us: Forward to the past; but not in a sense that celebrates underdevelopment and glorifies stagnation. It only reminds us to be mindful of ancient landmarks as our chariot of development hurtles across the forest path of modernity on its fateful journey nowhere. It tells us that much as the destination remains alluring, we must arm ourselves with memory (the past) to be able to encounter desire (the future) without losing our essence and identity as a people.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ambassador Sanders with CNN's Isha Sesay on Boko Haram & Chibok Girls

A FEEEDS BlogSpot

Ambassador Robin Renee Sanders discussing Boko Haram and missing Chibok girls in a November 12, 2014 interview on CNN International with Isha Sesay.
Ambassador Robin Renee Sanders, during her November 12-14 book tour in Atlanta, Georgia, to launch "The Legendary Uli Women of Nigeria," she met with Isha Sesay prominent and internationally recognized for reporting excellence, CNN News Center Host Isha Sesay to discuss Boko Haram and the state of play in finding the still missing Chibok Girls. Both Sanders and Sesay emphasized  the distressing nature of the continuing tragedy. Sanders key points were the role of human intelligence was crucial in finding the girls, and for traditional standing armies like Nigeria's it was difficult to transition to responding well to asymmetrical ware.   

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Two Atlanta Book Launches - Author & Diplomat: Ambassador (Dr.) Robin Renee Sanders


A FEEEDS Blogspot

NOVEMBER 12, 2014

 

SAVE THE DATE- November 12, 2014, 12:00-1:30 p.m., Atlanta Georgia

                                      Author & Diplomat: Ambassador (Dr.) Robin R. Sanders Discuss Her Book & Her Life in Africa

Dr. Sanders can also address current event issues happening on the African Continent

Host: Georgia Center for International Visitors (GCIV)

Location: Regency Suites, Magnolia Room, Atlanta, Georgia

Cost Includes Lunch: $10 GCIV members; $15 non-GCIV members

RSVP TO: FARAH at farah@gciv.org

 

 

NOVEMBER 14, 2014

 

SAVE THE DATE- November 14 2014, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Atlanta Georgia

          Author & Diplomat: Ambassador (Dr.) Robin R. Sanders Discuss Her Book & Her Life in Africa

Dr. Sanders can also address current event issues happening on the African Continent.

She also currently also serves as a Global Advisor to Operation HOPE Chairman & Founder John Bryant

Host: The HOPE Center - Operation HOPE

Location: HOPE Financial Dignity Center Atlanta @ The Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church101 Jackson Street, NE - 2nd FloorAtlanta, Georgia 30312(404) 228-0155 Office

Save The Date: Ambassador Sanders Book Launch on Nigeria's Uli Women

A FEEEDS Blogspot



SAVE THE DATE- November 12, 2014, 12:00-1:30 p.m., Atlanta Georgia

                                      Author & Diplomat: Ambassador (Dr.) Robin R. Sanders Discuss Her Book & Her Life in Africa

Dr. Sanders can also address current event issues happening on the African Continent

Host: Georgia Center for International Visitors (GCIV)

Location: Regency Suites, Magnolia Room, Atlanta, Georgia

Cost Includes Lunch: $10 GCIV members; $15 non-GCIV members

RSVP TO: FARAH at farah@gciv.org 

 

There is an upcoming event you don't want to miss; a uniquely awesome Author Talk and Book Signing with Ambassador (Dr.) Robin Renee Sanders, a U.S. Diplomat for 20 years. She will highlight key cultural elements of her book which should be important to all of us as global citizens, particularly seeing African signs and symbols like Uli as information systems. She is also available to discuss current events in Africa given her past and current experiences on the ground on the Continent. See below information on her book. Her full bio is also attached. Sanders will be available for special signings of her hardcover full color coffee table book, which comes in a gift set, following the discussion. She has recently been a subject matter expert on Ebola on MSNBC, Al Jazeera, China TV, Armstrong Williams Show, and TVOne News. Her full bio is attached above. Sanders will be available for special signings of her hardcover full color coffee table book, which comes in a gift tote, following the discussion. Photos of Sanders and Book Cover follows below along with book summary.  
 
 
 
 
 
More on Ambassador (Dr.) Sanders and  why this book is important:
Ambassador (Dr.) Sanders is CEO of the FEEEDS Advocacy Initiative and owner of FE3DS, LLC, and having lived in Africa for several years, was always struck by the ancestral, socio-historical and educational aspects of certain African cultural practices, especially languages, artifacts, and sign and symbol systems from the Ovahimba in Namibia and Pygmies in Congo, to the Horom, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, and Fulani of Nigeria. Her experiences on the Continent made her appreciate each and every culture and "its information systems," which in the end she called "communication expressions."
 
This book follows eight extraordinary Nigerian women in the December phase of their lives as they try to preserve the meanings of their endangered sign, symbol, and motif system called Uli. Uli is an acknowledgement of their Igbo history, culture and ancestors. Sanders that non-text, non-oral forms of communication expressions such as Nigeria's Uli, and other sign and symbol systems throughout the world, particularly in Africa, are just as important or "viable" as the written word and their meanings should be respected and preserved. 
 
The Legendary Uli Women of Nigeria is a uniquely groundbreaking work. It does not discuss, or view African signs and symbols as art or designs for contemporary clothes or jewelry, but stresses that they communicate. It also argues that world signs and symbol systems like Uli should be included as an area of study within the communication and information system academic field, which she recommends be called "communication expressions" since these systems do communicate the socio-historical aspects of a culture.