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Lagos Wide and Close – An Interactive Journey into an Exploding City




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By Olamide Udoma

Also Read: Insider’s view of Lagos with architect Rem Koolhaas10 Must-See Architecture Documentaries, & Lagos: Infrastructure and improvisation

I have just been introduced to a sensory exploration of Lagos that uses various perspectives to explore the multi faceted city. This interactive documentary is based on the Lagos research project by Rem Koolhaas and The Harvard Project.

Lagos Website still 4

In 2001, architect Rem Koolhaas and filmmaker Bregtje van der Haak went to Lagos to document one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. Based on research by Koolhaas’ Harvard Project on the City, this interactive film presents an intense and chaotic engagement with a then hardly documented city.

The information has been organised according to distance. Loosely based on the trajectory of bus driver Olawole Busayo, it presents intimate encounters with the city and its people on the one hand (CLOSE), and a more removed perspective of Lagos on the other, (WIDE).

Lagos Interactief 3

In the one hour interactive film, viewers are invited to join Busayo for his daily journey in the yellow Danfo (public minibus). Switch between a wide and a close view of Lagos and choose between three audio tracks: city sounds, interviews with lagos citizens, or comments by Rem Koolhaas. The two video channels and three audio channels are available to be played in parallel online in real time.

The one hour  online adaptation has been made possible by Submarine Channel, providing a permanent and accessible resource for those interested in understanding Lagos and its rapid urban growth.

Watch the film at: lagos.submarinechannel.com 

Film: Lagos Wide and Close – An Interactive Journey into an Exploding City 

Director: Bregtje van der Haak

Producer: Submarine Channel

Designer: Silke Wawro

Photographer: Edgar Cleijne

Camera: Alexander Oey

Sound: Rik Meier

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Olamide Udoma is a researcher, writer and filmmaker holding degrees in BSc Architecture, MA Design and MPhil Infrastructure Management. Olamide has worked in London, South Africa and Nigeria with various organisations focusing on transport management, slum upgrading and housing rights in urbanising African cities. At Our Future Cities NPO, she is the Lagos manager and editor.