The City Series: Lagos Transformation

Location: Lagos, Nigeria

Photography Essay by: Julian Roder

Exhibition: The City – Becoming and Decaying

20140217-210245.jpg Photograph ‘Swahili and Worker’s House in Ebute Metta ‘ by Julian Roder

Nigerian capital city, Lagos, is the largest city in the country as well as ‘the magnet’ of West Africa. Lagos is the seventh fast growing city in the world, and the second in Africa. As the city develops, it also have high numbers of slum areas.

This interchange of chaos and growth in the city was also found interested for Julian Roder. He experienced to see the chaos that is visible throughout the city. There is no space anymore for Lagos to grow. “It seems everyone is an Engineer” wondered Roder as he witnessed Lagos overloaded infrastructure. He also shared about the traffic he sat in eight hours a day due to many cars while the city only has a few streets.


20140217-210620.jpg Photograph ‘Danfos and Moules’ (private bus and taxi) by Julian Roder

20140217-210641.jpg Photograph ‘Generators on Roofs of Oshodu Market’ by Julian Roder

20140217-211305.jpg Photograph ‘Obagada General Hospital Construction Site’ by Julian Roder

20140217-211415.jpg Photograph ‘Demolished School Shed and New School Building’ by Julian Roder

20140217-211754.jpg Photograph ‘Abandon Railway Under Eko Bridge’ by Julian Roder

20140217-211948.jpg Photograph ‘Central Business District’ by Julian Roder


The content of Roder’s photographs is excellently fit his essay theme. The composition, background, color, and setting on his photos bring the affected social attention to viewers’ eyes. ‘Lagos Transformation’ certainly pictures the growth of urbanization, at the same exposes the price of failure on its ecosystem.