Saturday, July 2, 2016

Lagos is Not Catching Up With Us. Rather, We May Be Catching Up With Lagos

Lagos Wide & Close


Because filming has long been restricted in Nigeria, few images of Lagos exist. Based on research by The Harvard Project on the City under the direction of Rem Koolhaas, this DVD represents a unique engagement with a hardly documented city, capturing multiple perspectives of a volatile moment in its evolution. In 2002, Bregtje van der Haak, in cooperation with architect Rem Koolhaas and The Harvard Project on the City made Lagos/Koolhaas, a documentary on self-organization and urbanization in Nigeria. As a sequel to the documentary, Bregtje van der Haak together with designer Silke Wawro, developed the DVD: Lagos Wide & Close, an Interactive Journey into an Exploding City. The DVD contains an interactive video documentary (60′), edited from 55 hours of unused material that brings the viewer closer to the explosively growing megalopolis Lagos. With bus driver Olawole Busayo, the viewer moves through the city and has a choice of a distant (‘wide’) or an involved (‘close’) perspective, at any random moment in the documentary.
Director: Bregtje van der Haak  
Designer: Silke Wawro  
Camera: Alexander Oey  
Sound: Rik Meier

See the complete documentary film on
Thus, for Koolhaas and his team, Lagos is a case study of a city at the forefront of a globalizing modernity: "Lagos is not catching up with us. Rather, we may be catching up with Lagos . . ."
"Highly Recommended! Excellent production values... easy to view and understand. Rem Koolhaas has done it again." —Educational Media Reviews Online

“The juxtaposition of empirical descriptions of the city life with theoretical insights is ideally suited for classroom screenings in urban studies, qualitative research methods, geography, anthropology, global studies, Africa studies and virtually any other branch of the social sciences that is devoted to in-depth qualitative empirical research. It is one of the best documentaries I know that can demonstrate in a compelling and sophisticated yet accessible way how to embark on research projects. Highly recommended!” —Anthropology Review Database (January, 2010)


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