Lagos Biennial II [2019]
October 26 – November 30, 2019 

Open Call for Artists 

The 2nd Lagos Biennial of Contemporary Art will take place from October 26 – November 30, 2019 at various venues across Lagos, Nigeria. 
Curators: Tosin Oshinowo, Antawan I. Byrd, and Hansi Momodu-Gordon

 With an estimated 21 million inhabitants, Lagos ranks among the largest cities in the world and is the most populous in Africa. In recent decades, the city’s built environment has expanded exponentially through large-scale land reclamation initiatives, major industrial and luxury development projects, and new transportation infrastructures. This steady growth has transformed and amplified Lagos’s distinctive history as a cosmopolitan hub, and incubator of cultural and technological innovation. Yet such rapid change continues to raise pressing questions—facing cities across the globe—about the impact of urbanization on conceptions of citizenship, the role of information systems, environmental sustainability, and socioeconomic equality. The forthcoming biennial titled, How To Build a Lagoon with Just a Bottle of Wine? will take the city of Lagos as its epicenter and point of departure for a broader investigation into how contemporary art and design reckon with the nature of built environments today.

A range of proposals are welcomed, including those that

  • Consider how artworks create environments that can be inhabited, or mediate interactions between humans and nature
  • Propose models for fostering empathy and compassionate approaches to cohabitation in light of urbanization
  • Address the impact of architecture and built environments on specific communities, social dynamics, and/or sensory experience
  • Meditate on the relationship between cities of today and deeper histories of urbanization and economic exchange
  • Speculate on the future role of art and technology in forging sustainable ways of living
  • Analyze the effects of urbanization on communication systems and print culture 

Artists wishing to participate in the biennial are invited to apply by submitting a complete application form and supporting materials. Applications can be submitted via an online application at or by e-mail at 

Deadline: March 20, 2019


1. Is the call open to only artists working in Africa?

No. The call is open to artists anywhere in the world.

2. Does my project have to engage Lagos?

We welcome projects that engage urbanism and built environments from a range of perspectives, whether in Lagos, Africa, or from broader global perspectives.

3. Will the biennial consist solely of projects selected from the open call?

Some artists for the forthcoming biennial have already been selected. The open call is designed to solicit the broadest range of projects, and to maximize the opportunity for emerging artists to participate.

4. Can I apply as a collective?

Yes, the call is open to collective/group projects.

5. Can I propose a project in any media?


6. Can I submit multiple proposals?

Only one proposal will be accepted.

7. When will I be notified if I am accepted?

The curators will begin to reach out to artists in late March, in some cases to request Skype interviews. Accepted artists will be notified by late April 2019.

8. If I have more questions, how can I get in touch with the organisers?

You can e-mail –