“Communities are not machines, they are the synthesis of relation.”
Thomas Ermacora FRSADanish-Italian Regeneration Architect

After two years of focusing on issues that are more transnational in scope, the Artistic Director of Iwaya Community Art Festival — I C A F Lagos, has decided to address a domestic issue from an inclusive perspective. Communal Re-Imagination as the theme of the third edition of I C A F Lagos is adapted from the year-long alternative community art school project by the Vernacular Art-space Laboratory, in Iwaya Community.

Iwaya as a community is not static, it has changed over time. Lagos as an urban space has also evolved with time both in aesthetics and population; the latter explains the intensive quest for survival and also why many people do not smile any more in public spaces. Similar to some big cities around the world, depression has become a sickness that the state now identifies as one of  the periodic causes of deaths on its Lagoon.

I C A F Lagos 2018 is immersed in the interconnectedness of “villages” — (communities) within Lagos City to ignite the fundamentality of its public space. Lagos as a city is made up of several communities (villages) that have different socio-cultural facilities distributed on its Island and Mainland. The economic hub of the city was by default built on the Island owing to its waterways that are linked to the Atlantic Ocean and this limits functional communal spaces on the mainland where Iwaya, as a village, is a suburb of the city.

Static communities are unliveable; they confine people to their homes and repress their minds and souls. To debunk this stagnation that befalls our villages within urban spaces, urbanism has to be employed to regenerate spaces for a new utopia. Communal Re-Imagination seeks creative confluence through open-source with architects, anthropologists, socio-cultural historians and artists to restructure our static villages that are rustic in mood in order to re-dynamise their architectural presence and relevance. Through open source and right resources, together, villages can be rebuilt and the mood and culture of the villagers will be reactivated.

With the theme of I C A F Lagos 2018, the festival proposes a collaboration between people living within the community who understand both the socio-cultural notion and anthropological nuances of Iwaya and visual narratives from the participating artists. This collaboration intends to redesign the architectural fabric through a merger of native ideas and contemporary artistic practices in the creation of functional alternative spaces and installation of objects culminating in the regeneration of the community.

Furthermore, the political class and community leaders are requested to be the moderators in this urbanism discourse on space re-appropriation for popular culture narrative as an alternative platform to annexing the immense but uncultivated energy of the youth that permeates Iwaya Community. All players will harmoniously animate Iwaya as a village with suggestions and narratives through this dialogue.

The selected works of participating artists and the selected artists for the second I C A F Lagos 2018 Artist-In-Residence will serve as creative catalysts in Iwaya village through community interventions that do not necessarily have to be an artistic visual implementation but interactive, communicative and abstractive in nature and implementation.

I C A F Lagos 2018 is calling for works and innovative ideas from artists, architects and interdisciplinary practitioners that explore issues in the area that align with the theme. Five artists (local and/or international) shall be selected to participate in the second Artist-In-Residence (AIR) programme, which is a month-long residency in Iwaya community in November, and exhibit their work(s) during the Iwaya Community Art Festival in December (2nd — 9th), 2018.


Art students from YabaTech making drawings for an audio-visual presentation at I C A F Lagos 2017.

Call for submissions

As the use of both alternative and abandoned spaces are central to our style of presentation, we are looking for works that could be immediately be printed with the use of different techniques for public space and site-specific works/performances.

  • Both visual and performance artists are to send in ten images and/or links to their videos.
  • Visual artists are to send in their artist statement along with short biography and artist statement on separate pages but within the same document; altogether the document should not be more than three (3) pages.
  • Performance artists are to send in concept of their performance(s) on a page, along with short biography and artist statement on separate pages but within the same document; altogether the document should not be more than three (3) pages.
  • Submissions should be sent to info@icaflagos.com
  • Your email Subject should read: Submission for ICAF 2018 + Your name
  • Submission closes on October 10th, 2018

Applications for Artist-in-Residency

Important dates

Application deadline:                10.10.2018
Final selection:                            20.10.2018
Start of the residency:                 5.11.2018


Applications are invited from artists from Africa and other parts of the globe that are fluent English-speaking and interested in living with a family or live in a shared apartment within the Iwaya community. They must also complete an artistic project for the duration of the I C A F AiR programme.

The ICAF LAGOS covers

  • Accommodation
  • Daily allowance (in bulk)
  • Minimal production costs for the project developed during the ICAF AIR programme (budget has to be presented and approved)

Requirement for applications

  • Resumé with photo
  • Contact information with the inclusion of all social media contacts to be mentioned on the resumé.
  • Reasons for applying for ICAF Lagos AIR programme, and outline of artistic aims and objectives in about 250 words
  • Applicants are required to send in ten samples of their works and/or links to their videos and website
  • Project Proposal
  • Information on previous significant artistic projects
  • Submissions should be sent to info@icaflagos.com
  • Your email Subject should read: Submission for ICAF 2018 + Your name
  • Submission closes on September 20, 2018