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EVE NNAJI
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The Sphere Raft, 2022
Collection: Lagos is downing
Eve Nanji

1.5m x 1.5m x 7m²
PVC, 3D printing, vinyl fabric, rubber, nylon.
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I Can Never Grow, 2022
Eve Nnaji


Portable raft and traditional clothing
Vinyl fabrics, rubber, nylon, metal clips, plastic clips, cotton.

Eve Nnaji, architect and designer grew up in Houston, Texas. She is currently plying her trades in Lagos in her home country, Nigeria. Nigeria is affected by major floods, which will become more numerous due to climate change.

During her residence in Marseille, Eve Nnaji created objects in the field of fashion and furniture allowing daily living in times of flooding.

Lagos is downing

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Typology

Production residency

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Duration

8 weeks

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Destination

Marseilles

AAF Presentation

 

Co-production

French Institute of Nigeria, French Embassy in Nigeria,AWCA, Alliance Francaise, The Citadel of Marseille, Style House Files

Lagos, Nigeria and rapidly expanding cities are destined for a life underwater until concrete measures are put in place. The country which should anticipate the catastrophe and develop in this direction is by its colonial history, more inclined to confrontation and adaptation.

This project has a different approach and illustrates objects in a future where humans would adapt to flooding conditions.

Lagos is Drowning "brings bad news through good objects".

What would happen next? Eve Nnaji's works speak of shelter and oblivion, through forms resulting from Nigerian ingenuity and the discoveries made along the Old Port of Marseille. Sails herngled by strings, muffled sounds and accents of African populations lurking around the city, these melodies have inspired the models of a future underwater.

Eve Nnaji also evokes a symbiotic relationship between the upper and lower socio-economic sectors.

 

Eve Nnaji collaborated and worked with a local designer, Geoffrey Pauchard.

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"The design is inspired by Nigerian eccentricity and ingenuity while drawing inspiration from the forms discovered along the Old Port of Marseille.Sails strapped by ropes, muffled sounds and accents of African populations lurking all over the city, these melodies have inspired the models of an underwater future."

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© Making of: Eve Nnaji, Versant Sud, Anais Baseilhac

THOUGHTS

 

It's largely a fashion statement, to look and feel good when the floods come; instead of being prepared

 

Preparation and improvement is what we would do now if it was our social practice; however, we are rather in the adaptation

 

High income → isolated

The girls and boys of the house

Time increases, what do you do with this new hobby? → isolation

 

Search Venice

Search for scuba gear and flotation devices

Research utilitarian fashion → what activities should their clothes cater to?

Nigerians don't like formal utility, is it fortune?

Is it Eurocentric? Can bending be a form of utility or does it provide opportunities for utility?

How is Nigeria doing? / take ownership of things?

 

Forms of utility - vulcanizer, leader, military, mechanic (kinda), plumbers strip

Forms of adaptation - peddler

 

Materiality & Objects

1. Rubber! Electrocution evidence

2. Chords and bricks (anchors)

3. Wood

4. Vinyl

5. Plastic

Leaves

Water barrels and cans

Gas cans

Hoses and flexible tubes


Lagos state flood management structure

// ORDER OF EVENTS

 

ADAPTATION

Timings - In shin-deep/knee-deep water, the city still works. Lagos Island, Ikoyi, Victoria Island have accepted a high-low tide schedule; allowing these sections to operate at intervals of 9am-3:30pm and 9:40pm-3am(first high tide at 3:21 a.m., first low tide at 9:23 a.m., second high tide at 3:38 p.m., second low tide at 9:41 a.m.).

 

The government has assured that the floods will subside. Some are leaving, but some still have the means to cross the waters and have rescheduled their opening hours as well as remote working.

 

Because the high earners still exist, the low earners stay in hopes of maintaining their business. Some find new ways of working.

 

Job Opportunities:

- Carrier: can you deliver quickly? I need to print on the street, can you collect my prints? Can you take this package to the delivery man at the door of the estate? My street is too flooded for bikes.

-Electrician: We need a carpenter and a metalworker to make a platform for the generator.

- Helping people: they emerge to help you cross the flooded roads, to transport you from the car to the office, to carry what you ordered to the market, shouting for your car. They are there to get others out of open manholes or help people out of getting stuck, "something helps doing"; some are more formal "it's 500 naira ma".

 

INNOVATION

Innovation is beginning to appear, first in the low-income sector. Simple objects that enhance the functionality of a small store; mobility, access and storage. These are very simple makeshift items crafted with items that already exist through quick modifications; sometimes without fittings, they are just assembled and connected.

 

High/middle incomes who value independence are creating new demand. Purchasing items like rubber boots and gloves has been helpful, but the independence of these water walkers is tempting and even envious. The production of rubber and waterproof articles begins to increase.

 

With waters partially receding during the dry season, citizens are in conflict with TV news, social media predictions and reality. An influx of conflict stimulates registration, activism, ideation, crime and aggression, fueling creativity and inspiration. Innovation finds its way into high/middle incomes through forms of utility and style.

 

The designers respond:

- #wetclothes explodes; boots, coveralls, vests (be careful o!frfr),States Mandate: anyone without boots, rubber coverings or vests will be stopped (worldwide attention to mass deaths by electrocution and drowning)

- Solution-based designs; product designers target mobility and ships; create cheaper alternatives to imported floating rafts.This will all be over soon (might as well capitalize). There is hope in Naija's ingenuity.

- There are a hundred versions of the same idea; the floating chair

BYOR; people are starting to bring their own raft. Once in the flooded area, they jump on it and are pulled by walkers towards the workplace (or maybe the workplace is the one supplying it? Yes, both actually)

- #boats suddenly everyone has access to some kind of canoe(wait, guys, buy this one as a boat instead...)

 

EVACUATION

With the onset of the rainy season, the waters are rising to alarming new waist and neck levels. Government predictions are beginning to prove inaccurate.

Mass jappa → high/middle income. International humanitarian aid leaves.

 

Job Opportunities:

- Can you dive? My store was flooded. Divers look for opportunities to profit from submerged cargo.

Dive into the computer store for boxes of iphones.

Dive into jewelry stores. Divers in Ikoyi apartments to reach upper floors not submerged. (Someone posted themselves in someone else's penthouse)

Transport: the removal of large objects, mainly cars from the floods. Fully submerged items are sold, some partially submerged are sent upstate to be sold or held. Large 18-wheelers are seen with stacks of generators driving upstate.

 

Commercial divers and resellers are emerging as an economic force.

 

EMANCIPATION

The news turns to migration. How are Nigerians adjusting to their new home? What did you leave behind? Eyes on the reaction of northerners to their new residents. Neighboring countries seen as heroes. High/middle income migrants adapt to small London apartments and live with relatives in the United States.

 

Due to the profitability of diving, low-income people can continue to support themselves through a circulating value system. Most live in the northern part of town, where food is sold to neighboring states.

 

Job Opportunities:

- Scuba gear is crafted from common items as well as looted #wetclothes. Utility replication

targeted clothing, no state warrants → loose on utility, mainly for skin protection and partial electrical protection.

- Refurbishment of objects brought back from diving. Things that don't float are more valuable; desks and chairs are stripped of their legs and the waterline is attached.

- Floatation furniture; the beds are made en masse. More surfaces please. Everything is suspended or floating. - Floating bridges are created from house to house or around the perimeter of the house for mobility.

- Divers create large rafts to carry items.

- Fishing; fishermen canoe offshore, out to sea to get decent fish. Most fish in inland waters are contaminated with large amounts of mercury.

 

Divers develop an autonomous structure. The merchants, those who receive and exchange the goods collected, are the point of contact for anyone outside the city. Divers have become a community; independent, aggressive, risk-taking, territorial males.

 

The diver family is made up of community leaders, wives who display an array of collected items; women lead the renovation and adaptation of floating devices. The fishing family spends most of the day smoking and selling fish from canoes.

The children are few, but they continue to be children; focused on themselves, using high water as a form of recreation. It's a wet life but it's full of objects, exploration, independence.

Float to pass the time, dive to prove your superiority, renovate like a chore.

 

But this new freedom, this new economy, is temporary. How long until brackish water destroys submerged objects? How can you secure your future through an event you can never control?

In quiet moments, conversations about leaving. Conversations about work, diving, adapting to buying an outing. A feeling of abandonment and being left behind, a feeling of failure.

 

Time is everyone's secret fear.

in partnership with 

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French Embassy in Nigeria (SCAC)

The Service de Coopération et d'Action Culturelle (SCAC) is the department of the French Embassy that defines and monitors France's cooperation with Nigeria in the cultural, educational, academic and scientific fields.

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French Institute in Nigeria

The French Institute in Nigeria works for exchanges and cultural cooperation between France and Nigeria, by encouraging debates of ideas and sharing of knowledge between the two countries, through all areas of creation.

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A White Space Creative Agency

A Whitespace Creative Agency is an agency based in Lagos, Nigeria. Founded in 2014, the agency was created to find and support young image creators creating and producing strong and dynamic visual content that resonates both locally and internationally.

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Alliance Francaise de Lagos

The Alliance Française de Lagos is a Nigerian non-profit institution dedicated to the promotion of the French language and Francophone cultures, and to the promotion of cultural diversity.

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The Citadel of Marseille 

Located in the heart of Marseille, the Fort d'Entrecasteaux, also known as "Fort Saint-Nicolas", will gradually open its doors to the public from spring 2024. The Citadel of Marseille, carries its opening project as well as the restoration of the place, classified as a historical monument since 1969.

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Style House Files

Style House Files (SHF) is a fashion business development agency primarily focused on advancing the Nigerian and ultimately African textile and apparel industry through company-created initiatives at this end.

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Fask

In a territory which is characterized by its singularity, and where fashion is in constant dialogue with urban culture, FASK aims to highlight local creative wealth. By focusing on this unique artistic identity, forged against the tide and constantly reinvented despite obstacles, the collective deploys a range of tools and becomes a project accelerator.

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