Lagos is one hell of a space, one that several narratives will continue to attempt comprehend and tell tales about. Home to over 20 million people and a working ‘mega city’. Within and outside of architecture; urbanisation is a popular topic amongst elitists and academics; presenting various effects and after-effects in at times unique high density communities. An example after-effect of urbanisation are electricity wires, popularly called “NEPA wire” within Nigeria. NEPA is an abbreviation for National Electric Power Authority, the defunct electricity-governing organisation in Nigeria, privatised to PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria). The more popular story with electricity wires and their effect on the Nigerian landscape is mostly gory. But have you ever wondered, how they could and do relate (visually) with architecture and buildings? Particularly in this case, the urban space that is Lagos. While this case of ‘electrocuted architecture’ is not unique to Lagos, it offers its unique story and architecture to this global situation.
Electrocuted Architecture is a photo-documentary inspired by Lagos’ urban space and its architecture. To highlight how Lagosians visually interact with the architecture of their city through electricity wires. Walking through the city you can hardly appreciate a work of architecture without having electricity wires accentuating or totally obstructing your scene.
There is also the subtext of social class concerning the topic. Where larger, taller, more grandiose structures have less electricity wires occupying the viewer’s visual space. Compared to the high density areas where residents have to create cost-saving, effective means of electrifying their homes. But because these areas are highly populated, a network of electricity wires end up visually obstructing these structures.
The preceding five images are selected to narrate this quiet phenomenon, in relation to the viewer’s scene.
Kindly download the photobook, designed by Michael Coker, to capture the whole experience of Electrocuted Architecture.