state-theatre #1: LAGOS
2010, 24:35 minutes, colour, English with English subtitles
The word 'theatre' (theatron in greek) refers first and foremost to the place and architecture of a performance, rather than to what is being performed. Even after centuries, a theatre’s architecture represents the visual order from which it emerged: the possibilities for artistic production are historically conditioned. The geometrical space of architecture is pitted against the anthropological space of its use.
1st case study: LAGOS
The National Theatre of Nigeria in Lagos was built for the second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1976. It is the only state-subsidized theatre in Nigeria. While its smaller halls are occasionally used for theatre performances, banquets and weddings, the 5000-seat main hall has been deserted since the early 1990s. A reopening was scheduled for 2010 but postponed indefinitely after a series of changes in direction.
Counter shot: The Bariga Arts Center was founded in 2009 in a Lagosian slum by choreographer and Nollywood actor Segun Adefila, after the rent free agreement between his company Crown Troupe of Africe and the National Theatre of Nigeria had been revoked.
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