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

Decolonizing the Campus

  • Goethe-Institut Nigeria
  • Catholic Mission St, Lagos Island, Lagos, Nigeria

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

Through dialogue between local and international architects and scholars, the symposium asks how and in what ways did art, design and architecture education differ after Nigerian independence from methodologies practiced within colonial era institutions? What can we still learn and take from decolonial pedagogical practices in the present day?

ILE/IFE Nigeria, 1970–80, architects: Arieh Sharon, Eldar Sharon and Harold Rubin, © Arieh Sharon digital archive.

The Decolonizing the Campus symposium focuses 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 has been 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). Sharon completed his studies at Bauhaus Dessau in 1931, returning to Palestine where he was subsequently appointed head of the State Planning Authority during the War of Independence. His involvement with Ife campus came about due to his participation in Israel’s development aid programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sharon and his team designed and constructed the University of Ife campus over a twenty-year period lasting into the 1980s. How did the resulting purpose-built campus in the ancient town Ife-Ile differ from colonial era campus architecture built, for example, by the British architecture firm Fry, Drew and Partners in Ibadan? How was the Ife-Ile Campus perceived by local students and architects and how does it function today?

Speakers include the architects, curators and theorists Kunlé Adeyemi (NLÉ architects Amsterdam/Lagos), Bayo Amole (Ile-Ife University), Abimbola Asojo (Minnesota University), Regina Bittner (Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau), Zvi Efrat (Tel Aviv), Babatunde E. Jaiyeoba (Ile-Ife University), Hannah Le Roux (Wits University Johannesburg) and Cordelia O. Osasona (Ile-Ife University).

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

●Event documentation
Decolonizing the Campus — Symposium program

November 23, evening at Gallery 16/16

16 Kofo Abayomi St, Victoria Island 000010, Lagos, Nigeria

Presentation of bauhaus imaginista by Marion von Osten

including a discussion with Zvi Efrat on his new film project → more