DPU lead participatory video workshop exploring the impact of evictions on wellbeing in Lagos
DPU teamed up with Lagos-based NGO, JEI, to realise a participatory video workshop that aimed to explore the impact that the continued threat of forced eviction has on the wellbeing of residents.
23 February 2017
In Lagos, Nigeria, an estimated two-thirds of the city’s 23 million inhabitants live in informal settlements, where a lack of security of tenure means that residents live in constant fear of eviction. There has been a recent spate of mass evictions of the urban poor in the city resulting in a continued threat to all waterfront settlements.
Within this context DPU teamed up with Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI), a Lagos-based NGO working to provide community-based paralegal services in urban poor communities, to realise a workshop that explored the impact of the threat of evictions on the wellbeing of residents.
The workshop formed part of a larger project being undertaken by the DPU for Urbanisation Research Nigeria (URN), a four-year UK Department for International Development (DFID)-supported research programme. URN is working to explore urbanisation trends in the country and to create knowledge and evidence to inform future urban development policy and planning. The DPU is focusing on wellbeing as one aspect of the project.
The DPU team led by Alexandre Apsan Frediani and Alexander Macfarlane, working with Sandra Boni (visiting researcher at DPU from Ingenio, CSIC - UPV), utilised participatory video as an action-learning methodology to consider a number of questions, namely: How people have faced the threat of evictions in Nigerian cities? What role has/could participatory well-being analysis through participatory video play in the urban poor’s struggles to secure tenure and avoid forced evictions?
During the five day intensive workshop, the DPU team and JEI, represented by Andrew Maki and Megan Chapman, worked with 25 participants from various communities across the city, all of whom were members of the Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation, a grassroots movement of the urban poor.
A series of diagnostic exercises aimed to unpack how ‘wellbeing’ is conceptualised by the participants and how the threat of evictions impacts upon it. Through the introduction of cameras and storyboarding exercises, the four groups were able to formulate the thematic issues and key messages that they intended to focus on, as well as developing the narrative of their videos. The groups then undertook the filming within the three communities in which they focused. This was followed by a session in which participants were able to learn the skills required to edit their videos across the final days.
The week culminated in a public screening of the four films provided a space for feedback and a chance to consider how the use of video can be incorporated further into the work of the Federation and JEI.
The four videos can be watched below.