Excerpt: Akurakuda by Olalekan Jeyifous and Wale Lawal

Akurakuda is a graphic novella that emerges from the world of Mad Horse City, a project by Olalekan Jeyifous and Wale Lawal, and explores Lagos 100 years in the future. It was developed as an extended companion to the second moment of Mad Horse City’s Òmìnírá (freedom in Yoruba). 

In Akurakuda, (a shark or crocodile, depending on who you ask) two scavengers, one a young man and the other a precocious little girl with supernatural abilities yet to be triggered, experience their city’s brutality while on a quest to fish illegally in the city’s much wealthier and viciously protected areas.

Mad Horse City was a collaboration conceived by New York-based artist and architect Jeyifous and Lagosian writer Lawal during African Mobilities Lagos Exchange workshop in 2017. 

Jeyifous’s earlier work, Shantytown Megastructure, considered how “slums” are often viewed as eyesores to be bulldozed, which displaces inhabitants. As an alternative, the project reimagined a future for the city of Lagos in which dispossessed people are given prominence through a heterotopian and solar-punk vision that acknowledges the resilient practices of reuse and sustainability, as well as the highly self-organised nature of these people. The installation explored the interiority of these imagined communities in interactive, 360° virtual reality sets, a graphic novella and three moments in this immersive environment.

This project was commissioned by African Mobilities, and had its first showing in Munich at the Architecture Museum from April to June 2018.

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Mpho Matsipa
Dr Mpho Matsipa is a curator, research fellow at WiSER and lecturer in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand and Columbia University. She has written critical essays on the politics of art and architecture and curated several exhibitions and discursive platforms, including African Mobilities at the Architecture Museum, Pinakotheque Moderne in Munich (2018),which will travel in 2019-2020, Studio-X Johannesburg (2014-2016) and at the International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale (2008, 2021).

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