The initiative by Nestor Dominique Kengne, a fine arts practitioner and collector of extinct items, is meant to connect secondary students to history.
Today’s generation, especially students, is versed with stories of the past of their nation and other foreign lands. But most often, there is nothing concrete to connect them to such history lessons. Moreover, over the years, modernity has tended to have negative effects on society, especially the youth. As result, life’s values that were held in high esteem in the past are either ignored or being forgotten completely. And certain old items that will make for better understanding of the present by youth and to help them prepare for the future are totally neglected.
It is against this backdrop that Nestor Dominique Kengne, a fine artist, collector of antique items from refuse dumps and National Pedagogic Inspector in charge of Arts and Cultural Education in the Ministry of Secondary Education, has decided to do something about the situation. Thus, the advent of the “Introductory Project For The Collection Of Antique Objects Or Those About To Become Extinct And The Creation Of Mini Galleries In Some Cameroonian Colleges.” “This is why I thought of carrying out this project in schools by collecting old items considered by many as not only being totally useless, but also dirty and encumbering,” Kengne explains.
He hopes, through these antiquities, to help the young to better understand history and their culture. Also, learners could become more interested in reading about the past in order to know more about the people who used the antiquities. “As a fine arts practitioner or visual artist and collector of dustbin items, it was in the course of my work that I discovered some valuable antiquities that I decided to keep. I can say the idea of this project began since I started collecting items from refuse dumps to produce paintings and fine arts items,” Kengne recalls.
Apart from using the collections to teach history to students, they will also be exhibited and some recycled to produce fine arts items, the National Pedagogic Inspector in charge of Arts and Cultural Education in the Ministry of Secondary Education explains. “I am still to receive any financial support for this project. In November 2019, I submitted a request to UNESCO and I am still waiting for the response,” Nestor Dominique Kengne notes with an air of hope. In fact, he needs funding because some of the antiquities he collects like out-of production-vehicle makes require money to be moved to where they will be exhibited.