Terra Kulture: Modernizing Native Arts and Culture

The food court and reception of Terra Kulture

Terra Kulture has set a new standard in the evolution of a private art space in Nigeria through the creative and innovative deployment of various spheres within the arts. A tour of the leading cultural centre in Victoria Island would make one definitely agree with CNN that the description of the founder, Bolanle Austen-Peters as the woman powering the Nigeria’s theatre industry but I would like to add that she is a force to reckon with in the arts industry.

The food court of the art centre, can be described as the three ways test for a new entrant, as it leads to the art gallery; the bookstore and the restaurant. This is the beginning of one’s journey into the world of indigenous native crafts and one would definitely appreciate nature the more. The first written words on the wooden table go thus, “these tables and chairs were made from trees felled in this compound in 2003”. Certain set of people who grew up in the hinterland can definitely relate with native furniture used ages ago.

    The railings in Terra Kulture

Still from the same point, other native arts that would call ones attention are the cane-like railings used for the stairs and the wooden roof. Even on a Sunny afternoon, you cannot feel the heat because of the materials used were specifically built by nature for the tropics and used by natives to meet their needs. There were just a few indigenous buildings built decades ago with our cultural wherewithal that still has this type of decking.

Another fact that makes Terra Kulture truly a place of native culture is the various meals and snacks served at the food court. The food meals can be described as making rich delicacies out of Nigerian ingredients, for the Nigerians, by Nigerians for global consumption. These are items that would easily pass the Food and Drug Administration test across the globe.

Lately, many families have migrated from rural to urban areas and the millenials do not know the way in which the Kings and other royalties dress in the hinterland. As such, many families have resulted in using arts to educate their children. Both visual arts and other forms of cultural and artistic expressions depicting various traditions from diverse artists are available at Terra Kulture. Native culture has evolved, truly.

Arts work on display at the Gallery

Also the pain of seeing children bearing native names but can’t speak any Nigerian language has been taken care of by this centre. As a translator and cultural enthusiast, I know how difficult it is to locate people who are vast in speaking and writing in Nigerian languages most especially with the correct notations. This loophole has been identified and the correction made by the establishment of language classes at Terra Kulture.

There are massive opportunities to buy great books by Nigerian Authors at the arty book store where different writers, within and outside the shores of Nigeria, have had book readings. If you want a discerning audience of book lovers, they are members of the Terra Kulture family. Another feature of this arty bookstore is that they do not sell pirate books like it can be found elsewhere.

Some crafts on display in the bookstore

There are Nigerian crafts that you have always desired to share with your international guests. As typical of every traveler, the love of memorabilia from the country visited is inevitable. The Terra Kulture brand has also used the space to represent native artisans who are creating distinct crafts through indigenous technology.

During the premiere of Fela and the Kalakuta Queens, the Founder of the centre, Mrs. Bolanle Austen – Peters noted that we need to our stories so that we would not be misrepresented through the stories that are told about us by foreigners. True to it, every groundbreaking and authentic Nigerian theatrical performances by Bola Austen-Peters (BAP) Productions and other production companies have been told at the Terra Kulture theatre.

Exploring Terra Kulture can simply be described as an exploration of Nigerian Native Arts. From the cuisines, to literature, to languages, to crafts, furniture and theatre. Whichever sector of the creative industry that you belong to, you are covered by Terra Kulture. The glowing tributes of the brand from across the world has shown that there are great ways of exploring native arts and showcasing it to the world!

On your next trip to Nigeria, request for a trip to see native arts and culture at Terra Kulture.

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