This photography school in Lagos' floating slum Makoko is empowering kids to change their community
The Silent Majority Project helps kids 'tell their own story'
Life in Makoko is precarious — not just because the city is built on stilts over water, but because the government has tried to demolish it.
"Without arts and without initiatives such as The Silent Majority Project, there would be no Makoko today. The government could have come in and cleared them out."- Adolphus Opara, artist and initiator of The Silent Majority Project
Artist and photographer Adolphus Opara helped to initiate The Silent Majority Project in Makoko alongside artist and children's rights advocate Olusola Otori with the goal of educating and empowering kids through photography. In the video above, CBC Arts' Interrupt This Program visits the canals of Makoko and Adolphus' photography class at Whanyinna primary school.
The idea of The Silent Majority Project is empowering these kids to tell their own story of their own community.- Adolphus Opara
Freelance photographer Anthony Monday considers Opara a mentor. "Without this project, man, I wouldn't call myself an artist," he says. Monday's work has been published nationally and internationally, and he is going to university — which Opara says is rare in Makoko, where not many people receive education beyond primary school.
In this, Opara sees hope for the precarious Makoko: "Imagine we have five more Anthonys. Eventually one becomes government, head of this place. There will be change in Makoko."
Art as political protest, as a means of survival, as an agent of change, as a display of courage and delight. Interrupt This Program explores art in cities under pressure.
Video edited by Benoit Salin.