Bolaji Alonge, Nigerian photographer, would be staging ‘Beautiful Disaster’, his photo exhibition-cum-film documentary project, at the 2nd edition of the Lagos International Biennial for Contemporary Art.


This years edition themed ‘How to build a lagoon with just a bottle of wine?’, would run from October 26 to November 30, 2019.

“‘Beautiful Disaster’ exposes the total neglect of rural communities in the march towards urbanization and globalization. They have been left behind and are now held hostage by the consequences of a race to modernity. Deep inside Epe, along the Lagos lagoon, more than 145 villages are tucked away far from the bustling city life,” Alonge said.

“Women are giving birth depending on nature and their children are growing up, waiting for power and education, hoping for the future. Basic sanitation is absent since the source of drinking water, the lagoon also serves as the main conduit for waste disposal. Children are oblivious of these perils and play happily, grateful to be released from school and showing off their summersaults.


“The project brings together photography, video documentary, and painting. The exhibition space will be transformed into a sea of Water Hyacinths, inspired by Claude Monet’s panoramic series of Water Lilies at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris.

“The beauty of the images is in sharp contrast with the stark reality of these villages, invisible as a result of predatory seaweed and lack of political will. It is a call for help, an alarm signal that cannot be ignored. This project is a derivative of the pilot study on Lagos Coastal Health that documented the health challenges of more than 145 communities inhabiting the 200km stretch of Lagos lagoon.”

The second edition of the IBCA would see artists and collaborators join forces for “a unique experience, exchange, and exhibition that puts focuses on the rising complexity and ambition of metropolitan living, urbanization and its impact on culture, innovation, and socio-economic equality.


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