PAPAlab Lagos Nigeria 7 - 28 September 2009
Hosted by the African Artists' Foundation. A final exhibition entitled Initial Patterns was held on 25 September 2009 at the African Artists' Foundation. PAPAlab Lagos worked with a mixed group of ten artists and photojournalists from Lagos, including: Andrew Esiebo, Adolphus Opara, Babasola Bamiro Eremina Jumbo Toye Gbade, Tuoyo Omagba, Israel Ophori, Folarin Shasanya, Zemaye Okediji and Godswill Ayemoba. With the support of Mondriaan Fund and the Netherlands Embassy in Abuja Nigeria.
Everything that doesn't work in Lagos - and that is a lot - is made operative by the people themselves. The shopkeepers and craftsmen are mobile: if you want to buy bread, have your trousers repaired or need a haircut, you just walk outside and the vendors and craftsmen circle around you. As the electricity works only ten or twenty per cent of the time and brown water pours from the taps, the electricity and the water supply are made mobile too. If you want to work on one of your blogs, you go out into the street to find a cart with jerry cans filled with diesel. you start your generator, get your computer running and off you go. If you want to wash yourself, get the boy from the streets to fill up the water container in your house. Take a bucket of water from the container to your bathroom and indulge yourself in throwing the fresh water over your body with a saucepan.
How the water system works
There are taps in some of the houses but the water that comes out is dark brown. 'In need of water? Find the boy who bought it from people who have drilled a well in their garden'. Water seller is a typical newcomers' job.
14 Sept 2009, Israel Ophori
The mobile shopkeepers and craftsmen look so welldressed and clean. How do they do that? 'This is a girl who is supposed to be in school but is out on the streets selling groundnuts for a living due to the economic hardship in the country'.
09 Sept 09 2009, Tuoyo Omagba
The barber uses two small generators to ensure his business goes uninterrupted by power failures. Generators are one of Nigeria's main exports. Despite the government's failure to assure electricity, users of generators seem to enjoy their 'energy independence'.
09 Nov 2010, Andrew Esiebo
Receive the service in the street or invite the craftsman into your home. 'Northern Nigerians doing pedicures and manicures without knowing the danger of distributing the HIV virus as a result of using unsterilised equipment'.
Unpublished 2011, Israel Ophori