Digital Hopeoutside the circle

Anarchonaut #12

2020 By Olalekan B. Jeyifous
Black and white image, in the background this is a makeshift settlement
which is held up by wooden stilts. There is a woman in the center of the
image, she has robotic arms attached through a wearable vest, and she is
holding toxic metal cans.
Olalekan B. Jeyifous, Anarchonaut #12, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Anarchonauts are the imagined inhabitants of a speculative future version of Lagos, rendered by architect and visual artist Olalekan B. Jeyifous. Within this somewhat dystopian vision of the city, Shanty Megastructures (SMS) dominate the skyline: vertical slums that tower upwards acting as beacons of the future, calling attention to the current lack of agency and infrastructure of slums and informal settlements, from Lagos to Rio to Chicago.

Jeyifous is first and foremost a story-teller, creating afro-futurist and eco-futurist visions that sit between architecture, emerging technologies and culture. In this story, we see an Anarchonaut, a vendor from a Shanty Megastructure with robotic arms dealing in the raw end of the fossil fuel trade. As a series of collages and digital illustrations Anarchonauts depicts a whole community of people, vehicles and machines: creating a vision that inverts the technologies of common science-fiction tropes and recasts them as expertly reconstituted second-hand technologies. The images describe an alternative vision of the future, emerging from diverse cultures of adaptation, reuse and repair.