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A Thousand Sides To Lagos

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A Thousand Sides To Lagos


lagos234Chaotic and congested, Lagos can be totally overwhelming. For some visitor’s, it is a dangerous place to live in, for a city that has been named by BBC the fifth most dangerous city in the world. But for inhabitant of this pulsating city, it is an urbane environ with an irresistible infectious personality. It is this uniqueness and beauty that Michael Ogbaa seeks to document with his ongoing exhibition titled ‘1000 Faces of Lagos’, which opened on Saturday at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Cities are truly amazing places and Ogbaa’s images offer some of the best scenes of the Lagos metropolis. The dramatic collision of people and architecture the city offers are well captured in the 1000 images. From the yearly Eyo festival celebration, a view of the Lagos landscape, weddings to children playing in the gardens, the photographs give Lagos a unique essence and existence.  Through his lens, Ogbaa captures Lagos as a living breathing urban city that is simultaneously busy, lonely, awake, tired, and alive.

‘1000 Faces of Lagos’ provides varied and fascinating photographs on its subject which gives the viewer some of the best examples of urban photography. It simply makes a typical inhabitant of Lagos get excited about what he is not conscious about in the city he lives.

The piece titled: ‘Land Rising and Setting Sun’ depicts the rising of a vibrant city at dawn and the quietness of a pulsating city at dusk. ‘Sunrise at Osborn Road’ is a unique image of the yellowish rays of the sun travelling across the posh Ikoyi Landscape as motorists commute to work. It is just an awesome moment to capture early in the morning the great city of Lagos. The quality of light in the image is stunning and the sky acts like a giant filter for the sun to exhibit its resplendent glory. It is an eerie lonely shot of a city without all people yet to be awake to its rhythm.

Also in ‘Mile 12 Market’ Ogbaa, captures the hustle and bustle of a busy city. It is certainly provides another dimension to the city with many sides. The piece gives a chance to explore the hoards of commuters, traders and buyers that dot Lagos markets.

Ogbaa reminds us that Lagos is a city that is constantly growing and in transition. And so, he moves his lens to truly unique shots by focusing on the newly constructed Lekki toll gate on Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Victoria Island and new construction and renovation works going on at Oriental Hotel, Lekki. In ‘Oriental Hotel Lekki’ Ogbaa shows how this image is further away from the city centre with a construction crane dominating the Lekki skyline as Lagos is fast transiting into a mega city at the turn of the millennium.

In all, ‘1000 Faces of Lagos’ captures the mainstream area of Lagos, unique images at weddings, carnivals, offices among others. All the images perfectly capture the transformation of a dear city that Nigerians will not let go.

Funke Osae-Brown

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