Like Cross River state, like the Eagles, both shares similarity in many ways. For instance, the Eagle is noted to be among the largest and most powerful birds in the world. Calabar, the Cross River state capital on the other hand is accounted to be the first Capital City of Nigeria. The Calabar people are known for their rich historiography as well as tourism with the famous Carnival Calabar as a case in point. Same as the Eagle, said to be wisest and strongest bird. Eagles have been noted as symbols of strength, bravery and courage. Little wonder it is called King of the Sky. According to research, the Eagle’s eye is among the strongest in the animal kingdom, with an estimated eyesight of 4 to 8 times stronger than that of the average human.
Calabar, the People’s paradise was conceived to reflect the perfection and ingenuity of the Eagle in all ramification, except for a few modifications including bearing a golden touch of the Heavenly streets. With the passage of time, these high hopes crashed like a land visited by a venomous Tsunami with attendant rise of austerity. Youths restiveness found a fertile ground to flourish amidst unproductivity. The many years of unfulfilled dreams by the teeming youths and other forms of social inequality and negligence metamorphosed into the EndSars protests.
For the purpose of emphasis, EndSars protest was a mass agitation by Nigerian youths that rocked many prominent cities asking for an end to Police brutality and total overhaul of the Force. Though germane from the onset, but the peaceful protests were to be short-lived by violent demonstrations. The protests were said to be hijacked by hoodlums leading to mass destruction and looting of both government and private assets across the country. In Cross River state as in other parts of Nigeria, the tale is same with an orgy of destruction by the hoodlums.
Globally speaking too, the world has been ravaged by insecurity with many living in perpetual fear. Terrorism, war, assassination and other forms of insecurity are becoming a norm. Little wonder a tuned to CNN, BBC, Arise, Channels, Al-Jazeera, NTA, CRBC, Daily Trust, PPONLINE just to mentioned but a few leads with tales of bombing in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Nigeria and other war turned zones. These attacks have left many homeless, motherless and fatherless, with separated families, and others living in constant trepidation as non could predict their next target or strategy.
To rebuild these broken walls, and restore hopes, a coalition of visual Artists launched an initiative with a Theme: The ‘Calabar Peace Project’. Calabar Peace Project is the initiative of a crop of visual artists based in Cross River state, Nigeria. This canvas painting which was initially conceived to only soothe broken hearts is now reported to be the biggest in Africa with a measurement of 25ft (height) and 35ft (width).
The aim of this initiative as highlighted by the organizers is to preach the gospel of peace through Art. Art is believed to be both therapeutic and also embed with spectacle/aesthetics to drive home the needed immediacy that engenders social changes in the society. The Calabar Peace Project is also an avenue for recruiting an Army of creative minded breeds in the continent.
On how the organizers intend to effectively communicate the message of peace through this visual Art form, a Dove is introduced to the design with a lady raising a white flag to symbolize the return of peace. While this project has continued to gain global accolades in view of it timeliness, all hopes are anchored on it ability to metamorphose into absolute world peace.