NAIROBI, July 13 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan's first visual art exhibition kicked off on Friday seeking to relay messages of peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity as the country explores ways out of the more than four years of conflict.
David Morbe Aquino, a lecturer of fine art at the University of Juba and one organizer of the art exhibition, told Xinhua they are aiming at promoting peace, reconciliation and showcasing the rich cultural diversity in South Sudan.
"This art exhibition is the first of its kind bringing about 500 professional artists," he said in Juba at the Nyakuron cultural grounds.
Aquino said it was fallacy to believe that peace can only be brought by politicians but that the visual arts and culture have a significant role in the search for peace and harmony in the world's youngest nation that has been embroiled in conflict since December 2013.
"We have a rich cultural heritage we can use to send messages of peace and express ourselves as South Sudanese because we believe peace cannot only come from the politicians," he said.
Aquino also revealed that South Sudan art is on the right trajectory as some of exhibitors who include university graduates and lecturers have participated in key events like the Afro-Arab and other big art continental events.
The event is being supported by the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) and the Norwegian People's Aid (NPA).
South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013, and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.
The UN estimates that about 4 million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.