Thomas Dworzak . The Megapolis Tour #3 Lagos
“Lagos City vs. New York / Got to look busy / Make some money flow / Between the buildings we don’t look up / Drive by ’em robbery or stick-up / Ain’t no better / Everybody knows / It´s our city / And we love it so.” Keziah Jones, musician
In Lagos’ Broad Street and New York’s Wall Street, you just might discover the same atmosphere of global adventure-seeking, that mixture of cool finance poker and lavish desire for amusement, an “all you can get” attitude. For a long time Lagos wasn´t at all a megacity like New York. The largest city of Nigeria numbered in 1901 a mere 37,000 inhabitants, in 1921 there were 100,000 and in 1971, already 1.2 million. Today there are 9 million people living in the entire state and in the year 2020, there will be over 14 million. New satellite suburbs are constantly cropping up, turning the shape of Lagos mainland and its marshy islands into a sprawling octopus that seems to come from the depths of the ocean to devour everything. Lagos is one of currently 19 megacities worldwide. In ten years there will be up to 30. The question is what to expect from these cities? Which trends are emerging? What kind of vibes are due to—and in how far are individuals influenced by (the city’s) architecture? Is there such a thing as a recognizable youth culture, an urban identity, from which we get an indication of what our future may look like?
It is this dynamic that characterizes today’s megacities, the speed, the tenacity, the craziness. And in the middle of the overkill are the people who are trying to survive in them, with their hope and visions and unbridled energy. Who understand modernity as a chance to impart an image to the future that they themselves would like to be part of. Thomas Dworzak is showing all this in the context of the exhibition series The Megapolis Tour.