Iwaya Community Arts Festival (ICAF)
Vernacular Art-space Laboratory is a community-based art organisation operating in Iwaya/Makoko suburbs in Yaba area of mainland Lagos, established itself as a platform where artists create artistic interventions in collaboration with the everyday people. Our annual project, Iwaya Community Art Festival (ICAF Lagos) – an international community-based art festival, since 2016, has invited more than fifteen international artists (Portugal, Ireland, Kenya, Mali, Republic of Benin, Ghana, The Netherlands, USA, Italy, Spain) and forty local artists to the community for communal collaborations and artistic interventions.
In 2018, our application for an alternative community art school project (Communal Re-Imagination) was accepted and funded by the Prince Claus Fund through its Next Generation Project. And Communal Re-Imagination accepted 40 applicants for the yearlong art school project. The workstation built during the project now serves as the only community art recreation space, where youngsters who are creatively inclined converge to experiment with their ideas.
The work of the Vernacular Art-space Laboratory has been greatly impacted by the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our space was closed for artistic activities for over four months, which in turn affected the community youngsters and young adults who use the space to create pop-dance pieces for music videos and events, participate in the BMX training programme and the visual artists that emerged from the alternative art school project (Communal Re-Imagination), funded by Prince Claus Fund through its 2018 Next Generation project.