Interview with Nigerian artist Segun Adefila


19/09/2011 Interview with Nigerian artist Segun Adefila

Interview with Nigeria artist Segun Adefila about his performance Aiyedun. The performance took place on Friday, September 1st.

How were the interviews to the Aiyedun neighbors incorporated into the performance?

Aiyedun being a research based work relied heavily on the the materials gathered from video interviews, pictures, sounds and recorded and live music. Some of these materials were used before or during a performance. So for instance, we tried to find out the effect of flooding on the residents, recorded their responses and then opened the show with it. After this we would check for a material we find suitable to connect a previous presentation to the next. This way we were able to itemize the issues starting from effects, causes and possible solutions.

How did you develop the performance?

We look for a theme we find salient and engaging enough and explore such themes in respect of cause and effect without shying away from proffering solutions or raising further questions about such issues. Some of the tools we use  are improvisations which we later formalize into an organized performance with repeated rehearsal.

How was the degree of participation of the audience?

Typical of African audiences, there was a high degree of participation from the audience who are mainly residents of the street as well as their neighbors in other coastal areas. Their interviews were projected with the aim of saying ‘we are saying what you told us, not what we imagined. We are expressing your experience’! Most interviewees were proud and happy to see themselves on a large screen. Incidentally there was a downpour (rain) on that day so I guess the show resonated well with them.

How was the theme of climate change dealt with?

We had some level of awareness discussions with the people and we realized that they are also of aware of the changes already but the causes was somehow unknown to them though some of them were able to put their fingers on it as you shall see from the video.

How did the people reacted after the performance?

Their reaction was the most touching part of show for me. They showed they truly understand the enormity of the problems and waited afterward to discuss what they just experienced in performance. My sincere hope is that they will able to afford to change or adjust certain aspects of their life styles in order to effect a change due to economic vulnerability.


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Segun Adefila

Segun Adefila is a performance artist based in Lagos Nigeria. He holds a B.A. in Creative Arts from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and is a founding member and Artistic Director of the Crown Troupe of Africa, a dance-theater Company in Bariga, Lagos State. He has worked extensively in the integrated arts of dance, drama, …

About SurVivArt

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung central office in Berlin, Germany in cooperation with some of its regionals offices develops SurVivart, a project which through artistic and cultural actions, will propose a reflection on how sustainable practices can be incorporated in everyday life. More

SurVivArt Exhibition 2012

    SurVivArt - Arts for the right to a Good Life
    Exhibition February 5 - 24, 2012

    at the galleries:

  • Meinblau
  • Mikael Andersen
  • Pfefferberg, Christinenstrasse 18/19, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

    Opening Sunday February 5, 2012. 18:00

    Pressekontakt Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung:
    Karoline Hutter, Pressesprecherin, E-Mail:, Tel.: 030 - 285 34-202
    Achim Klapp, E-Mail:,, Tel.: 030 - 257 97 016

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