CAMEROON NORTH WEST PROVINCE ARTISTS ON THE NET
"Art is all about seeing"was the opening sentence of Till Forster at the launching of the North West Province artists website at the German Cultural Center last Wednesday, October 25th .Present at the ceremony was Michael Friedrich, representative of the Goethe Institute, Prof Bole Butake a writer, Nelson Tawe,the web designer, among other artists. The project was conceived 18 months ago by a Swiss Agency for Development that works with minority groups. One of the criteria for such a project included a region which was marginalized. Another aim of the project was creating a forum for and among artists so as to help them sell their products abroad. The project, which was divided into two parts consisted of the documentary section and conception of the website. 45 artists gave their contribution to how and what the website should look like. Prof Bole Butake, in his explanations said artist were grouped into four categories; musicians, fine artists, writers and actors.
Before the launching of the website, North West Province artists had a workshop aimed at sealing relationship among artists. The meeting was on how to permit the artists communicate amongst themselves. The website was chosen as the best option. It is like a window that links a local community to the world. Nelson Tawe, the web designer said every artist has a profile, a collective website and a mini website. The miniwebsite consists of the profile of the artist photo gallery, contact page. Moreover, the website opens opportunity for artist to have a username, announce news about them and up coming product. At the bottom of every web page is the artist of the day. The selection is done at random from the data base to give equal opportunity to all artists.
The website has close to one hundred artists and if an artist out of the North West Province wishes to register, it will be require that he pays a fee considered as a token. It is interesting to note that a Super Administrator exist who can knock whosoever violate the norms of the website. Such artists will witness their web page suspended. "However the main problem face here is that most of the artists are not familiar with forums, but with time it will be interesting to know how this website has evolved" said Prof Bole Butake. Another difficulty was to meet the several categories of artists. Perpetual Chiangong, collaborator and artist said "fine artists were very suspicious; most thought we were going to sell their works". However, everything has been done in such a way that even if the painting is enlarged, it will not permit one to have a clear vision of what the painting looks like said Till Forster reassuring fine artists. During the launching, the artists were encouraged to register themselves under copyright co-operations so as to easily track down pirates. Being the first time artists have a website in Cameroon, they were given the challenge to always update information concerning them.