Lagos Wide and Close Web

From DVD to the Web

This interactive documentary is an online adaptation of the interactive DVD Lagos Wide and Close – An Interactive Journey into an Exploding City (2004). As one of the first interactive documentaries ever made, and a rare documentation of Lagos at a volatile moment in its evolution, we decided to make it available on the Internet in 2014.

Increased bandwidth makes it now possible to play the two video channels and three audio channels in parallel online.The Lagos research project by Rem Koolhaas and The Harvard Project on the City, on which this interactive film is based, has not been published yet. With this online adaptation, we hope to provide a permanent and accessible resource for those interested in understanding Lagos and rapid urban growth.

The Explosive growth of Lagos

Reliable statistics are not available, but based on UN reports and the Lagos city census, it is estimated that every hour, 52 people start new lives in the African city of Lagos. As the largest port and commericial centre of Nigeria, it is now home to approximately 16 million people. This dangerous, polluted, and in many ways dysfunctional city, has drainage problems, relentless traffic jams, and shortages of water and electricity, but is somehow working for those who move there to start new lives.

How and why does a city with so many problems continue to grow against all odds? in 2000 architect Rem Koolhaas decided to study Lagos in an attempt to understand the hidden logic that makes a “dysfunctional” city function. His research revealed a population’s unique ability to cope inventively with an urban landscape of disorder and to bring order into it. Lagosians have equipped their expanding metropolis with a finely meshed web of efficient self-organizing networks, challenging the dominant idea that “Lagos doesn’t work.”

Loosely based on the trajectories of bus driver Olawole Busayo, this interactive film provides a wide and a close perspective on an expanding city. In three separate audio tracks, it provides a glimpse of the lives of eight Lagos inhabitants, revealing the creative relationships they develop with their urban environment. in parallel to Busayo’s journey and interviews with Lagosians, Rem Koolhaas voices his reactions, interpretations, and changing attitudes towards Lagos during his five years of research.


Credits DVD:

Director: Bregtje van der Haak
Design: Silke Wawro
Cinematopgraphy: Alexander Oey
Soundscape: Rik Meier
Producers: Bruno Felix and Femke Wolting
Line producer: Janneke van de Kerkhof
Editors: Alexander Oey, Jasper Quispel, Bas Rath
Audio post-production: Jeroen Goeijers
Color grading: Eddi Bal
Dvd authoring: Boy Carper, Sander Veenhof
Editorial Consultant: Jennifer Sigler
Photography DVD cover: Edgar Cleijne

Credits DVD to Web:

Website design: Christiaan de Rooij
Developer:Gijs Kattenberg
Editor: Geert van de Wetering
PR: Yaniv Wolf
Line producer: Willeke Steenbeeke

Interview Rem Koolhaas:

Director / Interview: Bregtje van der Haak
Camera / Sound : Jean Counet
Editor: Geert van de Wetering

With special thanks to:

Kunle Adeyemi
Ademide Adelusi Adeluyi
Pieter van Huijstee Film and Television Production
OMA: Jeremy Higginbotham and Nicolas Plump
Rem Koolhaas