Goethe-Institut Nigeria in the context of its partnership with the Center for Art and Urbanistics (ZK/U) and SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin, continues with a residency programme for artists and curators from Berlin and Lagos. Since its founding in 2015, the aim of the residency program has been to strengthen the cultural dialogue between Germany and Nigeria. It provides an individualized offer to get insight into the art and culture scene of the respective city and the partner institutions. The programme offers possibilities of exchange, mentoring, making contacts and the presentation of work results. Each year, the jury selects one common theme. For 2023, the theme is Dreaming New Worlds.

The Lagos-Berlin Residency 2023/24 is calling on artists, makers, technologists, and culture producers to investigate the confluence of art, technology, and society considering recent developments in the world of artificial intelligence. The rise in interest from big tech, tech enthusiasts, finance professionals, and everyday people towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) has sparked a new wave of interest in creative endeavors that were once solely the domain of artists, makers, and culture producers.

Cutting-edge technological assistants like chatbots that unlock long-forgotten childhood memories and image generators that produce realistic depictions of art are being touted as products with limitless possibilities. However, some are urging caution about the intersection of art and technology. The worthiness of machine-made art as art and the potential loss of human artistic labor are pressing issues.

This year's Lagos-Berlin residency seeks projects that propose fresh models of machine-human collaboration in artistic practices. Can we go beyond the standard techno-pessimism and techno-optimism dichotomy? How can we handle ethical considerations about fair use, given that these new technologies rely on massive datasets, ‘’people-sets’’, and ‘’artist-sets’’? In what ways are the production, circulation, and reception of these new technologies influenced by continuing colonial legacies? How should artists on the margins and culture producers confront the present-day manifestations of these legacies? 

Two residency scholarships are offered for the programme:

  • One artist from Lagos will travel to Berlin from August to October 2023.
  • One artist from Berlin will travel to Lagos from February to April 2024.

The two artists will be able to meet and exchange ideas in both cities and present their projects to the Berlin//Lagos audience. A joint implementation of the project is welcome.

The following costs are covered by the exchange program: travel grant to Lagos/Berlin, visa fees, health insurance, accommodation with studio, allowances, and a small production grant.

We also support the artists in connecting to people and organisations that support their projects and give the possibility for at least one public event in the city of residence.

Former Fellows 
Between 2015 and 2022, the following Lagos and Berlin-based artists took part in the programme: Folakunle Oshun, Tito Aderemi-Ibitola, Taiwo Ojodun, Antoinette Yetunde Oni, Dane Komljen, Katrin Winkler, Natalia Orendain del Castillo, Jumoke Adeyanju, Monaí de Paula Antunes and Afopefoluwa Ojo, Jeremiah Ikongio, Obaro Ejimiwe and Luiza Prado, Stacey Ravvero and Hamza Beg.

Information about Project Partners

Goethe-Institut Nigeria The Goethe-Institut e.V. is the globally active cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Goethe-Institut Nigeria organizes and supports a wide range of events for the presentation of German culture in Nigeria and implements projects for intercultural exchange with Nigerian partners. It offers consultation and contact opportunities during the residencies.

ZK/U – Center for Art and Urbanistics: ZK/U is a residency and platform for creative and urban experimentation. ZK/U is generally interested in bringing together global discourses and local practices. More specifically, it’s looking at how art and culture can be a catalyst for transformation in the urban sphere. In this context we are facing various challenges. How can we facilitate collaborations between cultural, public and private sectors to achieve sustainable, inclusive urban development allowing local culture and voices to participate in the decision-making processes?The residency program is open to artists, scholars and practitioners that concern themselves with the phenomenon of ‘the city’.  It is possible to participate in bi-monthly presentations and consultations within a group of international residences.

SAVVY Contemporary | The laboratory of form-ideas was founded in 2009 by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung as an art space, discursive platform, place for good talks, foods and drinks – a space for conviviality. SAVVY Contemporary situates itself at the threshold of notions of the West and non-West, to understand and deconstruct them. SAVVY Contemporary has realized a kaleidoscope of art exhibitions, performances, film screenings, lectures, concerts, readings, talks, dances. It has established a participatory archive on German colonial history, a performance arts documentation centre, a library, a residency program, a series of publications, a record label (SAVVY records), a radio platform called SAVVYZΛΛR as well as educational projects with schools. The art space engages in its neighborhood's history and socio-political realities which are entangled with the reflections and discourses of the project.  As an independent art space questioning fixed notions we are constantly becoming and endangered through taking risky positions and moving on a path of radical conviviality.