Adaeze ElechiIn search of what makes Nigeria’s Lagos City a hotbed of business, what’s kept it going for centuries, and why people flock to it like winged termites to bright light, Dutch modern architect Rem Koohlaas and the Harvard Project on the City teamed up and dove into the mayhem and mania of Nigeria’s former capital city. The result was the documentary Lagos Wide & Close: Interactive Journey into an Exploding City . In the film, Koolhaas tries to explain both to viewers and the Nigerians he meets that Lagos does in fact work, and should not be compared to places like New York or Los Angeles, as Lagosians are wont to do. Koolhaas says the Western cities are entirely different animals, attached to different governments and climates.

But Lagos will survive, he says, because the people know how to adapt to economic, environmental and political hardship. There is much to learn from the ancient city, says Koolhaas.

Bio: Adaeze Elechi is Guernica’s blog editor. Read her last recommendation of Jeff Buckley “here”:

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