Seven years ago by now, she had just arrived in Accra from Bonn in Germany to run affairs at the Ghana office of the Goethe-Institut and now that it is time for her to move on to head the Goethe-Institut in Dares Salaam, Tanzania, Mrs Eleonore Sylla says she will miss Ghana very much when she goes away.

The Goethe-Institut is Germany’s globally active cultural institute that encourages international cultural co-operation, promotes knowledge of the German language abroad and reflects a contemporary under- standing of Germany.

Yesterday was her last official day at work here and as the Goethe-Institut holds an open day this afternoon to start the outfit’s 50th anniversary celebration in Ghana on the theme ‘The Past Present & Future of Making a difference,Mrs Sylla feels proud that she deeply immersed herself in the arts and cultural happenings in this country and contributed what she could for the development of those Sectors.

In a chat with Daily -Graphic, the ever-smiling woman said she regards the Made in Germany- Celebration of Burger Highlife concerts in 2007 and 2008 as two of the most remarkable events put on by the Goethe-Institut during her time as director of the place.

“I feel very proud of the Burger Highlife concerts because they were very successful. They brought Ghanaian musicians based here and in Germany for two great concerts. Some had never performed together on one stage so those were special times for them as well as the audiences.

“Luckily, we managed to produce a film on the concerts called “Who Is Highlife” which has introduced Ghanaian popular music to many people around the world. The film showed at the just ended Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) and has already been to many other high- profile international film festivals”

Another project Mrs Sylla feels good about is the mix-abled (physically challenged and able-bodied) dancers project which led to the formation of the innovative Akwaaba-Mix dance group in’2009.

The Goethe-Institut under Mrs Sylla also, in collaboration with Mmofra -Foundation, digitised more than 4,500 negatives from Willis Bell who was a main photographer for Nkrumah from 1958 onwards.

A lot of the photos depicted Ghana becoming an industrial nation and a catalogue and an exhibition were produced out of them.

Prof John Collins’ vital music archives were also refurbished and digitised through Mrs Sylla’s efforts.

The on-going Accra Cultural Capital project which aims to transform the nation’s capital into a dynamic city of culture and tourism, was initiated by the Goethe-Institut and Alliance Francaise with Mrs Sylla’s active involvement

There are several other useful Goethe-Institut-related projects I can talk about but for now, let me say that I will carry fond memories of Ghana with me wherever I go: the music, dances, very reliable partners to work with and the very, very welcoming attitude of the people, ” Mrs Sylla said.

Sponsors of the Goethe lnstitut 50th anniversary celebration include Cecil Image, MTN, GTV, Silver Star Auto Ltd, Bizz’ Up and The Graphic Communications Group Ltd.

Source: Daily Graphic

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