Connecting the dots 2023 - 2025 ©Nadine Siegert

The "Connecting the Dots" project (2023-2025) aims at facilitating community engagement with public museums in Nigeria through the establishment of a young scholars museum fellowship program and a youth education program. It is implemented by the Goethe-Institut Nigeria together with The Ford Foundation. Up to six Nigerian museums will participate in the program over a period of two years.

About the project

This project is a way forward in facilitating engagement, education and enjoyment of historical and contemporary art at various museum spaces across Nigeria. It will focus on a critical engagement with Nigerian museum content and the creation of research results that engage contemporary topics such as democracy, African traditional leadership systems, gender, generational difference, justice and social cohesion. The project will take a critical review of current collections, curation, language, and the links with those contemporary issues. The project seeks to create opportunities for young artists and researchers to present their research and works within Nigerian museums. The program will also create links between scholarship across genres and facilitate the production of knowledge that would enable scholars to more critically engage with the exhibitions at museum spaces across the country.


The program creates links between artists and scholars with public museums to create new knowledge about Nigeria's museum collections and to find new ways to connect this knowledge to younger audiences.


Museum Conversations: working with local communities, historians, researchers and young artists to create a series of dialogues will be held addressing museum content, both historic and contemporary, as a strategy to promote community engagement or a participatory approach to curating museum content and better connecting them with the communities. The conversations will take place at six selected museums across Nigeria. In addition to other audiences, these dialogues will target artists seeking to work with the collections and ground their work in research.

Emerging Artist and Art Researchers program: A program will be launched to bring six young scholars/researchers based artists from within Nigeria and abroad to study at selected museums and produce knowledge that address critical aspects of the museum’s content. In addition to a broad focus on the curatorial process and historical relevance of displays, the program will seek to address contemporary challenges facing Nigeria and contribute to knowledge that could advance the role of museums in addressing key national development challenges. Participation in the fellowship will combine a call for applications with nominations.

Participatory Action Programs: young people across Nigeria will be invited to make visual representations of artefacts, heritage, culturally significant symbols or entities and other parts of the communities’ histories and how these objects resonate with them. The aim will be to elicit young people’s interpretations of the objects and
the objects’ significance in their cultures or their lives, rather than a presentation of the objects themselves. These interpretations would be reviewed by a group of specialists and collated into a volume that will be produced and disseminated widely, including online. A digital portal where the young people’s representations of their cultures, heritage and other artefacts can be showcased will be created.


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