●Edition 2: Moving Away
Nov. 23–24 2018
Film and Symposium

bauhaus imaginista. Moving Away: Decolonizing the Campus, Lagos

  • Goethe-Institut Nigeria
  • Gallery 16/16
  • University of Lagos
  • Obafemi Awolowo University

The symposium Decolonizing the Campus was held in Lagos on 23 and 24 November 2018, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Nigeria, Gallery 16/16, the Department of Architecture at the University of Lagos and Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State, Nigeria. Through dialogue between local and international architects and scholars, the symposium offered a critical dialogue on design pedagogy and campus construction as practiced at the start of Nigeria’s transition to independence.

Ife-Campus, Nigeria, Film Still from Zvi Efrat's film, photo: © Keren Kuenberg.

The Decolonizing the Campus symposium focussed in particular on Obafemi Awolowo University. Founded in 1961 as the University of Ife in protest against British education policy in place at the end of colonial rule, it was, significantly, the first post-independence university in Nigeria to possess an architecture faculty. The Israeli architect Zvi Efrat was commissioned by bauhaus imaginista to conduct on-site research and produce a short film about the development of the University of Ife campus, which was designed by Bauhaus graduate Arieh Sharon together with a team of Nigerian architects (including Lagos-based architect A. A. Egbor).

Ife-Campus, Nigeria, Film Still from Zvi Efrat's film, photo: © Keren Kuenberg.

Sharon completed his studies at Bauhaus Dessau in 1931, returning to Palestine where he was subsequently appointed head of the State Planning Authority after Israeli Independence. His involvement with Ife campus was part of Israel’s development aid programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sharon and his team designed the University of Ife campus over a twenty- year period lasting into the 1980s. How did the resulting campus in the ancient town Ife-Ile differ from colonial era campus architecture built? How was the Ile-Ife Campus perceived by local students and architects and how does it function today?

Speakers at the symposium Moving Away. Decolonizing the Campus included the architects, curators and theorists Bayo Amole (Obafemi Awolowo University), Abimbola Asojo (University of Minnesota), Regina Bittner (Bauhaus Dessau Foundation), Zvi Efrat (Efrat-Kowalsky Architects, Tel Aviv), Babatunde E. Jaiyeoba (Obafemi Awolowo University), Hannah Le Roux (University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg) and Cordelia O. Osasona (Obafemi Awolowo University).

The symposium was curated by Marion von Osten (Berlin) and Zvi Efrat (Tel Aviv), in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Nigeria.

Ife-Campus, Nigeria, Film Still from Zvi Efrat's film, photo: © Keren Kuenberg.

●Event documentation
Decolonizing the Campus — Symposium program

November 23, evening at Gallery 16/16


Presentation of bauhaus imaginista by Marion von Osten
including a discussion with Zvi Efrat on his new film project


November 24, Symposium at University of Lagos, Tayo Aderinokun Hall → more

●Additional material
Questions of the audience to the speakers

The audience of the workshop bauhaus imaginista. Moving Away: Decolonizing the Campus could ask questions to the speaker. And they did. → more

●Slide Show
Impressions from the Ile-Ife Campus
●Documentation/Slide Show
Photo documentation of the workshop and symposium in Lagos
Video documentation of the symposium at Obafemi Awolowo University, Lagos

Video documentation of the conference bauhaus imaginista: Moving Away. Decolonizing the Campus at Obafemi Awolowo University, Lagos. → more

●Locations and partners
Locations and partners of the symposium in Lagos

The opening program of the symposium is hosted by Gallery 16/16, Lagos.


The symposium talks take place at the Department for Architcture at University of Lagos and Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State, Nigeria.


The Goethe-Institut Nigeria is bauhaus imaginista's partner for the symposium and film screening event in Lagos. → more

●Related Articles
Nation Building through Campus Architecture — Israeli Architects Arieh Sharon and Eldar Sharon’s Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Campus in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, 1962–1976

The campus of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria, the first phase of which was built between 1962 and 1972, is a fascinating example of modernist architecture in Africa. As a case study of Africa’s assimilation of the modern style, its design is intriguing also due to the fact that it was built by Israeli architect Arieh Sharon (1900–1984), aided by his son, Eldar Sharon (1933–1994). → more