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Training in Digital Humanities - Benin City - 28-29 december

GroupPictureBenin281221IFRA-Nigeria is sponsoring the digitalisation of some Benin songs as aspects of the immaterial cultural heritage of Benin people in Edo state. This project will be executed by a group of interns at the Institute for Benin Studies, Benin City. On December 28th and 29th, 2021 Dr Vincent Hiribarren took part to a training session in Digital Humanities for the Insitute's staff.

On December 28th and 29th, 2021 all the nine prospective interns at the Institute for Benin Studies were invited for a training workshop. The objective of the workshop was to introduce these young scholars to digital humanities and its application to Benin Studies. During this 2-Days training, Eight (8) facilitators participated amongst whom are:

- Prof. Uyilawa Usuanlele from the New York State University, OSWEGO. He introduced the Institute for Benin Studies and gave a brief background to the establishment of the organisation. Uyilawa explained the objectives of the Institute to include amongst other things the training of young researchers in Benin Studies and providing research assistance to scholars through its library, which opened in the year 2000. 
- Dr. Vincent Hiribarren, the Director of IFRA-Nigeria. In a similar vein, Dr Vincent Hiribarren, the Director of IFRA-Nigeria. told the audience about IFRA-Nigeria and its research activities and programme. He invited them to visit IFRA-Nigeria website and subscribe as research fellows to enable them get the IFRA-Nigeria newsletter and updates. Also, during the second day, he introduced the prospective Interns to ‘data organisation using
- Dr. Anne Kathrin-Luther, the Director of the Institute for Digital Heritage, Philadelphia. Dr. Anne spoke about Digital Humanities and Ethics. She encouraged the young researchers to always endeavour to get informed consent from their informants and respect their views and rights as independent entities.

Others from Benin City were:
- Mr Aikoriegie Obobaifo, who spoke ‘Benin songs and Dances’.
- Mr Ogie Ogendegbe, who is a veteran broadcaster addressed the need for quality audio-visual data and various filming techniques. Associate Prof. Josephine Ebiuwa Abbe gave a presentation on ‘Benin Songs: Types and Significance’. She gave a list of some Benin songs and explore their significance to the Benin people.
- Dr. Mrs. Enibokun Uzebu-Imarhiagbe was very enthusiastic about the need for the application of digital tools and techniques in arts and social sciences research. She noted that though digital humanities is not a new field, but its application in the 21st century have taken a different dimension, which she says is the future of research and knowledge production.
- Also, Mr. Ekhator-Obogie Osaisonor Godfrey, who is the Secretary of the Institute for Benin Studies spoke about the need for the Internship programme in Benin Studies and the expectations from the interns. He also addressed ‘the challenges of preparing for fieldwork and how to handle equipment’. On the first day of the training, two Professors of Linguistics, Prof. Victor Omozuwa and Prof. Mrs. Esohe Omoregbe were in attendance. They participated in the training by sharing their wealth of knowledge with the trainees. They were elated about the IBS/IFRA-Nigeria collaboration.

The internship programme has started on January 10th and will run through April 10th, 2022 with five Interns working at the Institute for Benin Studies. The interns are: Miss Mabel O. Oviahon; Ehiosu Destiny Igbineweka, Miss Isoken Edith Erhokpaidamwen, Miss Mercy Omoregie and Mr. Caeser Amasihohu. They shall Collect, document and digitize Benin traditional festivals and ceremonial songs, relevant archival materials from informants (photos, old sound recordings, labels, magazines, etc.), highlight the historical accounts and significance of the different songs to various activities, make a presentation at either Institute and or IFRA seminar/workshop/roundtable working paper on their research, participate in weekly discussions and project reviews, as well as submit an article for publication at the end of their internship. The interns will hold their workshop in the third week of February to discuss their work in progress. At the end of march, they will all present their findings in an online seminar.

Tags: digital humanities

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