Goethe-Institut announces 2021 Lagos-Berlin residency programme for artists, curators

Goethe-Institut has announced the 2021 edition of its annual Lagos-Berlin


A statement by the German cultural institute said that the aim of the successful exchange programme since its establishment in July 2015 has been to create a highly individualised programme that, in addition to enabling a work stay of several weeks in the respective cities, also includes an insight into the work of the partner institutions with opportunities for consultation, contact and exchange, as well as the presentation of results in various formats.

“The Nigerian side of this exchange programme is jointly organised by Goethe-Institut Nigeria and the Lagos-based creative incubator, 16/16 (pronounced “16 by 16”). The Center for Art and Urbanistics (ZK/U), SAVVY Contemporary, the Office for Higher Education and Culture/ Department of Art and Culture in conjunction with the Gallery Wedding – Space for

Contemporary Art will take care of the Berlin side of the exchange,” said the statement.

This year, the residency in Lagos resumes with an on-site format: The Berlin-based Brazillian

artist, Luiza Prado, will work closely with 16/16 from mid-October to the end of November


Expanding on last year’s installation of a practice-oriented community garden at 16/16,

Prado’s project reimagines the garden as a space of encounter and coming together. The

project thus explores reproduction as a process that occurs beyond bodies, and within

broader geopolitical, environmental, economic infrastructures. Hosted by the project partner

within Lagos, this project also appraises local herbalist epistemologies as strategies for

survival, particularly in times where biological pathogens are actively being exploited for

the maintenance of colonial necropolitics.

Focussing on the plant-based parts of looted archival objects, visual artist and musician,

Obaro Ejimiwe will also visit Lagos from October to November as part of an ongoing

research on archives. During this period he will work closely with Luiza Prado and the

residency partner, 16/16.

This year’s residency also offers last year’s artist-in-resident, Monai de Paula Antunes a

chance to visit Lagos. Due to the global pandemic which disrupted travel routines across the

world last year, her residency could only be undertaken digitally. Her project aims to put

together a database of stories, sounds, testimonies, knowledge on household level food

production, native plants, urban gardening, seeds, fermentation… memories, dreams and

much more from the vast universe of aurality, especially when in connection to ecology. The

final stage of the residency is dedicated to archiving experiments using digital technologies

and experimental radio formats.

The Nigerian artist Jere Ikongio will take up a two-month residency in Berlin from the

beginning of September to the end of November. In the context of the Lagos-Berlin

residency project, he will explore elements of implicit bias in the protocols and politics of

artificial intelligence art, while investigating the role and processes of archiving and reimagining existing archives.

“As global protocols are rapidly evolving and advancing, artificial intelligence, increasingly,

gets to make some of the most important decisions about human’s privileges, access and 

opportunities and will be responsible for deciding human life soon enough. I am planning to

explore the archives presented by ZK/U’s Publishing and CityToolBox Platform as well as

Savvy Contemporary’s Publications, Documentation Centre & Archive and/or Colonial

Neighbours Archive. I am hoping to activate the post-internet and contemporary

manifestations of archives and produce (a living) AI archive and program that is trained to

construct ‘new’ art based on modern and contemporary art from West Africa’’ says Jere


For the Goethe-Institut Nigeria, which provides financial support for the residencies, this

exchange marks a renewed consolidation of artistic exchange between Germany and Nigeria,

whilst offering the interested public in both cities a fresh opportunity for a change of


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