Support of the Local Cultural Scene

Support and Connect 2021 © Omotayo Kofoworola/ Illuminatetheatre

Support and Connect – Nigerian Art and Culture Projects 2021

The Goethe-Institut Nigeria supports Nigerian artists and cultural experts in implementing their projects.


Goethe-Institut Nigeria is proud to announce the 15 successful projects to be funded in its 2021 Open Call to Support and Connect local initiatives in the Nigerian cultural scene.

Overall, a substantial number of high-quality projects were submitted from which only a few could be supported. The final selection spans the creative spectrum of theatre, photography, poetry, and the local comic scene.

Goethe-Institut intends to continue its Support and Connect grants, and wishes previous and potential applicants better luck next time.

About the selected Projects

Kawe Africa © Kawe Africa Kawe Language Project by Kawe Africa is a celebration of Language and Culture through books and literature. The project is essenced at encouraging and promoting topical conversations surrounding the preservation of our cultural heritage, using literature and books as vehicles.

The Kawe Language Project also looks at the role of African languages in contemporary world, especially the Nigerian languages - in technology, education, literature, governance and even entertainment. We hope that at the end of this project young Nigerians can leverage technology and literature to revitalize indigenous languages.
The Artist Ladder Connect © The Artist Ladder Connect The Artist Ladder Konnect is a project aimed at creating support, opportunities, education, liaison, and career advancement for artists and creatives.

The project, under Art for a Reason, Africa, is a 5-7-day local residency organised to enable young artists operate outside their usual environments, and providing them time to engage, reflect and connect to produce artistic works.

During this programme, the artists-in-residence will engage in career-elevating discourse and be tutored/mentored by accomplished artists and professionals. The aim is to equip the young artists with skills and knowledge relevant to producing distinctive works of art, as well as prepare and position them to be players on the global scene.
Anilingo Fest © Anilingo Fest Anilingo Fest is a Children’s Arts and Cultural Festival celebrating the artistic (digital & traditional), theatrical and musical talents of children ages 6 – 18.

The festival is a fun-filled day showcasing diverse cultural beauty from across the world through a variety of performances, exhibitions and film, and educating on the arts through interactive workshops.

The festival theme “A Small World” is reflective of the interconnected nature of our world today and the common cultural thread societies share expressed in diverse forms, co-creation and the experiencing of different cultures form the building blocks for positive social change.
Mud Art  © Mud Art Compound explores settlements in rural communities and confronts the prevalence of global ethno-religious wars. With the undestanding of these themes we are making a dance performance and sharing the narrative of ‘Healing’ from the sectarian crisis caused by the fight for space, ethnicity and religion. The production will push the concept of Cohesion, community and unity through dance.

‘Compound’ as a dance production will also use the narrative to show how we share a common space and how we are responsible for its wellness, equality and fairness. Mud Art Company will partner the Kaduna State “History and Heritage Preservation” Department (HHP) in a photography exhibition that will be incorporated in the production. Part of the performances will also include digital projection of curated images by Openspace Collectives that fit the Compound narrative. These are photos made by Francis Uher, who worked in Northern Nigeria from 1955-1979 as a British photographer.
Africa Writes © Africa Writes “Ija” follows the annual Afrika-Writes programme of four-days workshop and one day cultural and literary event where a guest speaker discusses a selected theme. The discussion is followed by a presentation from the workshop participants and an open mic session for poets.

The project "Ija", which means "acting/performance" in the Idoma language, aims to use the art of performance poetry to highlight the cultural heritage of the people of Benue state and North Central Nigeria in general. “Ija” is an art of celebration in the face of a world threatened by a global pandemic.

The theme for this year’s event will centre on the relevance of art in a world plagued by a pandemic and reviving oral tradition and culture in Africa. The art of celebration is a prima part of African art, which is a method to keep the human soul alive even during turbulence. Afrika-Writes intends to use performance poetry to give hope to the human spirit.
Cartoon Africa © Cartoon Africa There is a grossly unmet need to increase the number of female cartoonists, cartoon animators, comic artists, children’s book illustrators, photographers, etc. in the fast growing African cartoon and edutainment industry, especially in Nigeria. As one of the earliest and arguably the most popular development communication channel globally, the role of Cartoon in cultural expressions, in shaping mindset and in changing world views remains crucial.
Vernacular Art Space Laboratory © Vernacular Art Space Laboratory No Victor, No Vanquish: A Nation at Crossroad is a reflection through artistic interventions of the happenings in this time of pandemic and economic epidemic.

The arrival of the novel coronavirus has exposed the porosity of health systems of several nations around the world, and the global south suffered more on various grounds that led to the probe of government policies and political standings. Iwaya Community Art Biennial (ICAB Lagos) is pensive with thematic concern on how Nigeria as a state fared in 2020 in all ramifications.

Ògbóǹtarìgì is a retrospective documentary project to identify and celebrate veteran Yoruba novelists. One of such authors is Lawuyi Ògúnniŕan and his operatic novels Eégún Aláré. Lawuyi has written 15 Yoruba novels, most of which were read by millions of school children in Southwestern Nigeria.

Yet the author is largely unknown.

Ògbóǹtarìgì—Documentary Project on Old Veteran Yorùbá Authors sets to retell stories of writers like Lawuyi through Youtube documentaries, interviews, visibility on all online platforms—especially Wikipedia—and showcase their vast contributions to Yorùbá literature.
Virtuality © Virtuality Virtuality is a virtual art exhibition on mixed media and immersive technology, showcasing Nigeria's history in arts through an immersive web experience.

In partnership with Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art, Virtuality will showcase over 700 artworks from prominent artists and creatives in a virtual space. This can be experienced by users irrespective of their location around the globe, creating an educative and engaging experience.

This project is implemented by Experis Immersive in partnership with Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Arts, Lagos.
Word Express © Word Express Slam Calabar is a slam poetry event organized to give a platform of expression and opportunities for learning and growth to poets in Nigeria.

While the Slam is open to poets around the country, it seeks to bring a slam closer to poets residing within Calabar and neighboring cities. The Slam will promote the art of spoken word poetry as a tool for creating social change, critical thinking and at the same time rewarding creative efforts.

For two days, poets will write and perform pieces on the theme “Evolve”. They will explore the concept of evolving as it has to do with embracing new ways of thinking and acting in response to the many societal challenges.
Ijolomo Dance Company © Ijolomo Dance Company #EShockU? is a communal collection of reflections, thoughts and interventions during the sudden or rather rude arrival of the novel coronavirus. #EShockU? is an experimental piece of artistic expressions presented as an exchange in a communal setting that practically reveals the human state of mind, pre/post-COVID-19. It is not just a performance but a sincere call of awareness to realities beyond imagination.

The project will feature 30 young poets, filmmakers, musicians and dancers who will collaborate and create a piece reflecting on the impacts of COVID-19 based on the dramaturgy of #EShockU?

The performance will take place at the Bariga main market where market-women and men will be invited to participate and reflect on the effect of COVID-19 on micro-economy in which they function in. This piece will be presented at the Crown Art Factory and Iwaya Community Art Biennial respectively.
The Nlele Institute © The Nlele Institute TNI provides technical and thematic workshops yearly (on quarterly basis) to aid the artists’ developmental process. Technical workshops, with the participants with new concepts, techniques and the latest insights in the development and production of their works.

Our workshops also teach creative/critical writing and portfolio presentation. Over the years, TNI have developed several educational programs in mentorships and exhibitions to give the desired visibility to emerging photographers in Nigeria. These programs are used as platforms by the Institute in providing training opportunities in art photography.
Moving Mountains Moving Oceans © Moving Mountains Moving Oceans Moving Mountains Moving Oceans is an ongoing cooperation between Obuh Christopher Nelson and David Goss towards an exhibition and presentation that projects the Eko Atlantic project in Lagos, Nigeria and the urban construction projects in Jerusalem, Israel. It will first be exhibited as part of The 5th Annual LSA Conference, University of Lagos, Nigeria in June 2021. In this project Nelson and Goss focus on two cities: Lagos in Nigeria and Jerusalem in Israel. Although these countries are continents apart, in seemingly completely different contexts, the political, ethnic exploitation is concurred by the urban economic logic of late capitalism, an excuse to divide, separate and control.
A WAY WITH WORDS © THATCH HOUSE Thatch House Theatre Intiatitive ‘FEMALE PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL’. The festival is about art and life. It is devoted to female playwrights and their works. The festival is a maiden edition but will become an annual event. It aims at developing new female talents in playwriting and equally showcasing and giving a voice and platform for these female works to come alive.
Hausa Kishwali Festival © Hausa Kishwali Festival The Hausa Kiswahili Festival of Arts (HAKIFA) is a crisscross festival of arts and language by and for African creatives across Europe, West and East Africa. It is the aimed at opening up discussions about East and West Africa’s language relationship especially with Hausa and Kiswahili through history, music and arts.

The festival aims to showcase the best of contemporary African literature, poetry, music, art, film, and theatre in Hausa and Kiswahili languages through digital collaborations to a target audience of thousands of youths between the ages of 18-35 across West Africa, East Africa and Germany.
 „A Way with Words“ is a free virtual course on creative writing climaxing in development and production of impactful stories that change negative narratives in Africa.
Entries in short stories, short plays, poetry, drawings, illustrations, comic strips, cartoon, animation, photojournalism, graphics and other pictorial storytelling will be selected from two categories of applicants. The categories comprise of pupils between 7-12 years old and 13-19 years old.

Successful participants are later shared into strategic inter-cultural/tribal/regional team-ups to remotely work together and create culturally synthesized folklores, afro-centric fantasy stories, epic storylines, etc. that can be further developed and illustrated for young adult cum children’s books, comics, graphic novels, cartoon animations, editorial cartoons, or as storyboards for short cartoon animation videos, etc. within our project’s thematic framework.