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Listen: My expectations and work plan while in Nigeria- Dr. Nadine Siegert, Director at Goethe Institut Lagos

Produced By: Oghoghomena Adediran

Host: Hope Orivri

On this edition of our programme ‘At The Marina Today’, we have the pleasure of bringing to you our chat with Dr. Nadine Siegert, Director at the Goethe Institut, Lagos.

She is new on the position, but she had earlier visited Ibadan, Enugu and of course, Lagos!

That notwithstanding, Dr. Siegert believes that a five or six years stay in Nigeria as director on a job that would demand her to navigate through arts, culture and community paths, may really not be enough to know all about Nigeria. But, she is determined to make beautiful marks in very many special areas including with female artists and with projects that are impacting the lives of people in the communities.

Our Chat:

ATMT: You are now here as the Director of Studies at Goethe in Lagos. I heard it’s going to be for some time. So, what are your expectations, for the fact that you’ve been in Nigeria before; you’ve seen Ibadan, Enugu, and Lagos? So what are your expectations and what things would be the melting pot for you?

Dr. Siegert:  That’s really a big question. I mean, I feel already now that I will not be able to really understand a lot because I feel like there’s so much going on. So, maybe after five years, I will have to feel that I scratched a bit here, scratched a bit there. And I really want to understand and learn as much as possible and see what Goethe Institut could be, what role we can play; also, knowing that there are other international organisations such as the Embassies, such as Alliance Francaise and others, and a lot of them, of course in Abuja. So I try to understand what the place that Goethe Institut can be, and how can we support and facilitate projects.

So I think I will have maybe four or five main areas that I at the moment envision. One has to do with archives. In the broader sense, not only the classical paper archives; I know there are a lot of artists who have private archives that they have not given to organisations, but they would like to work with them – this is something I would really like to look into. In combination to that also, publication; to really support projects to make this amazing culture a bit more visible; this is one thing.

Another thing has more to do with supporting contemporary projects in spaces where we find really strong concentrated industry projects that support the local communities and really work into supporting projects like educational projects, but also projects that have to do with techniques and materiality that are from here. Really, like combining contemporary projects with what is today called indigenous knowledge systems and techniques and materiality. So, really what we see here is this knowledge and skills —that will be something I’m interested in. So there’s a project I would like to do next year around indigenous knowledge systems; it sounds a bit academic but it’s really about understanding what we can support in that regard.

A third part would probably be around Residencies. So with some colleagues, I envision residencies not only between Germany and Nigeria, but also other African countries. So that we support residency projects that can be with different partners, not only in Lagos but maybe also in other Nigerian places.

I have a strong interest also to support women artists; so there are projects that focus mainly on women artists and their projects. This will definitely also continue next year; in a project that is also original one called House of African Feminisms, where we look into different forms of feminisms on the continent and supporting projects there.

Personally, I have a strong interest also in ecology and sustainability, to look into how we can live on this planet as human beings for a bit longer and not only destroying everything. So projects that also deal with planetary knowledge to understand how we can be more sensitive with not only nature but also other human beings and animals.

I really hope I can contribute a bit with that and with the funds coming from Germany and also with my network and really try to continue the good work that my predecessors have also done.

ATMT: Thank you for so much and we look forward to seeing all those programmes you reeled out, and hope to be a part of them.

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