Ouida had a new space to promote arts and culture for a few days. A true museum, the John Smith Cultural Center for International Encounters (Ccri), the result of a triangular collaboration between the State of Benin, Ouidah City Hall and a private promoter, is now opening its doors for the greater good of its stakeholders.
The John Smith International Center for Cultural Meetings (Ccri) just opened its doors in the historic city of Ouidah is what one might call an all-in-one service for arts and culture. It was held in the conciliation court building in the old city. Janvier Nogloy, one of its main creators, presents it as an interdisciplinary center on contemporary writing. It contains a slavery research room, an outdoor green theatre, a library, a multimedia space, gardens and a restaurant, to host performances, exhibitions, etc., artist residencies and more. The jewel was opened to the public in the presence of sages, dignitaries of the city and other personalities. If the project sees the light, it is mainly due to the commitment of the government through the ministry in charge of culture, admits the mayor of Ouidah, Christian Huichino. He was pleased that this space will enhance the work package that benefits his city and aims to enhance its history and cultural heritage.
Jean-Michel Abimbola, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Arts, who welcomed the emergence of this new space, reaffirmed the government’s readiness to do everything in its power to make Benin culture a dynamic one. And revealed it, a tool for the integrated development of our country. This has already been reflected, according to him, through the many actions and investments made by the government’s work program, which are aimed at better strengthening and strengthening identities, as well as promoting artistic and cultural exchange and research.
“The embodiment of this commitment to support initiatives in favor of promoting and enhancing our common heritage, in particular through the decision to award an annual subsidy to operate the center is further evidence of the government’s intent to bring more content to the national cultural policy,” Minister Abimbola added. A permanent exhibition entitled “Women and Slavery” produced in partnership with a French association and Benin visual artists will be discovered in the building.