The Goethe-Institut Nairobi is finally re-opening its space in a new and fresh look to the public after extensive refurbishment. This entailed adding new spaces and modernizing the existing ones.
The newly refurbished space saw the library, auditorium and the work spaces get a fresh look to make them more welcoming, and interactive.
Commenting on the contemporary, multi-purpose spaces, Goethe-Institut Nairobi Director Lilli Kobler said: “We had been planning the renovation of these spaces for quite a while but the time just wasn’t right due to the high foot traffic we used to receive. However, the COVID 19 lockdown, presented an opportunity for us to make the spaces more functional and user-friendly. We set out to create a convenient, fun and relaxing environment that will attract a diversity of visitors from all generations to come study, work, meet, exchange, inspire each other and learn new things. We are confident that the modernized spaces match the resources we offer and will make the Goethe-Institut Nairobi spaces a go-to location – a calm oasis in the bustling CBD. The space aims to be home to the long-standing Kenyan-German cultural and educational relations and provide our visitors, guests, staff and diverse projects with innovative and inspiring experiences.”
The renovated spaces now feature a terrace which offers a wider range of activities including a digital corner, Virtual Reality (VR) stations, Gaming Fridays. It will also include a kids’ section that is geared at nurturing creative talents and encouraging a reading culture from an early age.
The library received a facelift and has been fitted with glass walls and transformed into a much larger area that spills over into the terrace making it easily accessible, functional and fit for learning and knowledge sharing. Additionally, the library includes a revised stock in books after the Goethe-Institut Nairobi reduced nearly three quarters of the collection they had and gave them out to universities, museums and other partners. Furthermore, there is a critical media reflection in progress with questions around access to media as well as offering digital formats and reaching out to new audiences.
To celebrate this milestone, the Goethe-Institut Nairobi is hosting a 3-day reopening event from February 17-19. Both upcoming and renowned artists will be showcasing their various projects. The works to be showcased include:
1. A VR project dubbed ‘The Heritage Museum’ which aims to raise awareness about the heritage, history and the importance of Kenya’s displaced artefacts.
2. An exhibition by Jojo Records of specially curated and handpicked vinyls spanning as far back as the 1980s.
3. Just A Band will premiere their new performance film Echo that both looks back at the bands history and showcases their upcoming work, followed by a comeback appearance during a Q&A with fans.
4. All departments of the Goethe-Institut Nairobi will also display their work and facilitate trainings and workshops for creatives and the broader public with all ages being able to try themselves out at the German language.
The event will be graced by representatives from the Government and the German Embassy. It also coincides with Goethe-Institut Kenya’s 60 years celebration of Kenyan-German cultural relations.
The Goethe-Institut is the official cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany active with a network worldwide. It promotes the study of the German language abroad and encourages international cultural exchange.