Residency programme Berlin Lagos

Goethe-Institut Nigeria in the context of its partnership with PlanB in Lagos [DSN1] and the Center for Art and Urbanistics (ZK/U) and SAVVY Contemporary Art Space in Berlin, continues with a residency programme for artists and curators from Berlin and Lagos.

Residency Programm Lagos-Berlin ©brakkegrond


Selected Artists

The Goethe-Institut is pleased to announce the selected artists for the 2023/2024 Lagos-Berlin Artist-in-Residence Program

Since its establishment in July 2015, the aim of the successful exchange program has been to create a highly individualized program 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 project results in various formats.

The Nigerian side of this exchange program is jointly organized by Goethe-Institut Nigeria and the Lagos-based creative incubator, 16/16 (pronounced “16 by 16”). The Center for Art and Urbanistics (ZK/U) and SAVVY Contemporary will take care of the Berlin side of the exchange.

This year the theme of the residency program is Dreaming New Worlds. Two resident artists have been selected: Nora Mandray (Berlin) and James Notin (Lagos). The residency program runs from September 2023 through April 2024.

This year’s residency seeks to explore how the artistic process will be (re)shaped by the incursion of new technologies into realms which were purely the preserve of artists, makers and culture producers.
James Notin’s “Into the Wild” proposes a nonlinear literature which allows the reader to actively create their own story through a database like what exists in image generators and chatbots.

They are a Yoruba-Nigerian experimental artist and performance curator whose work investigates individuals in universal space and structure. Their works are based on the curation of public opinion and selective observation as a tool for distorting contemporary society to create a liberal space for analyzing the social structure and their politics.

Their two-month residency in Berlin offers them a chance to explore the archives of our Berlin-based partner, Savvy Contemporary, thus grounding the project in older. forms of non-linear storytelling and orature.

With “EVIL ENCOUNTER 2”, Nora Mandray intends to explore authenticity and truthmaking by orchestrating human encounters together with AI. This will be achieved by re-enacting scenes of from a now-forgotten landmark of Nigerian Cinema and producing an AI-generated sequel inspired by the original. The initial film, directed by Nigerian filmmaker, Jimi Odumosu, demonstrated how lucrative a VHS release could be, at a time theaters were being replaced by television. Evil Encounter marked the beginning of the home video boom in Nigeria, which in turn helped the local film industry grow into what is today known as “Nollywood” – the world’s second biggest film industry in terms of output, with 2,000 movies produced every year. Their project turns AI into an active collaborator, in order to bring back to life a disappeared gem and imagine the future of Nigerian cinema.

Nora Mandray’s documentary practice explores the theme of metamorphosis through human encounter. By nature, non-fiction storytelling transforms real-life persons into characters; in turn, this transformation also changes the filmmaker(s) and, when successful, the resulting work itself can be a transformative (aka cathartic) experience for the audience too. With each new project they experiment with a new method or storytelling format. During their residency in Lagos, they will work closely with the Goethe-Institut and its partner, 16/16.


Selected artists before 2023

Open Call Berlin Skyline: CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons Lagos Skyline: Goethe-Institut/Jeremiah Ikongio

Monaí de Paula Antunes

An Interview with the Artist

Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Berlin-based artist Monaí de Paula Antunes was not able to travel to Lagos in autumn 2020. Therefore, her residency was turned into a digital one. In the interview, she talks about the project and the challenges and experiences during her digital residency last year.

Digital Residency Monai de Paula Antunes © Monai de Paula Antunes

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