Moving towards Redemption


The video installation examines the constitution of religious space in the periphery of the metropolis of Lagos (Nigeria). Coming from the urban chaos with its notorious traffic jams the viewer moves in the stream of the faithful into the organized religious space of the RCCG-Redemption camp. Factory-like prayer halls in the size of several football fields provide space for religious major events with hundreds of thousands of believers. All around, a small town has developed - a "City of God".

The work feeds on the phenomenon of longing for structure and religious space and  the importance of such an area for collective spiritual experience. Here questions arise on the conditions and producibility of redemptive experience.

The present work was initiated by the medical work of the author in Lagos. In order to understand the religiously motivated healing expectations of many patients better, he went himself into different churches. A documentary workkshop titled Spirit and Spirituality, that was organized by the Goethe Institut, Lagos further deepened the work.

Eleven young Nigerian filmmakers and filmstudents participated in the workshop and expressed their vision of the topic. A documentary film of 50 minutes length titled Sometimes I wonder resulted from the workshop. It was directed by two Nigerian participants.

Workshop participants: Debra-Love-Balogun, Bridget Okhai, Yinka Edwards, Oscar Enamino, Iwajomo Folasakin, Isaac Garland, Ahmed B. Kayode, Titilola A. Kayode, Ehizieje Ojesebholo, Tina Okhai

Workshop fascilitators: Matthias Luthardt, Jide Tom Akinleminu, Jens Wenkel
Consultant: Jochen Becker
Special support, Lagos: Victor Okhai and IFBA-filmschool, Goethe-Institut, Lagos
Camera outside workshop: Thomas Plenert

Prayers on a parking lot. At the Redemption Camp of the RCCG church in Lagos. Film: J. Wenkel/E. Ojesebholo