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Waste not want not: Andrew Esiebo captures how Lagos gives tyres a second life

Award-winning photographer, Andrew Esiebo, uses his lens to capture the unexpected in Lagos, Nigeria: discarded car tires finding new life as furniture, fences, swings, and more. These everyday objects, transformed by resourceful Lagosians, become proofs to a powerful form of unconscious upcycling.


Tyres that need sorting in  the Mile 12 area of Lagos
Tyres that need sorting in the Mile 12 area of Lagos | Courtesy of Andrew Esiebo

The project isn't just about creative reuse – it's about environmental impact. Esiebo's work serves a greater purpose than capturing quirky street furniture. It highlights the unseen – the environmental solutions embedded within the everyday chaos of Lagos life. By drawing attention to these practices, art can nudge us to recognize the potential that often goes unnoticed.By extending the lifespan of these tires, people are unknowingly contributing to a greener Lagos.


Tyres being sorted in the Mile 12 area of Lagos | Courtesy of Andrew Esiebo

Esiebo photography series is exhibited as part of the British Academy-funded 'Pneuma-City' project. The timeline for the images started in 2019 and continued until 2023. Below are Andrew Esiebo's images from the Pneuma-City project.

Vulcanisers lead the way in the upcycling of tyres
Vulcanisers lead the way in the upcycling of tyres| Courtesy of Andrew Esiebo

Tyres become exciting toys for children
Tyres become exciting toys for children | Courtesy of Andrew Esiebo

Tyres get back into the swing of things
Tyres get back into the swing of things | Courtesy of Andrew Esiebo

Tyres provide a place to seat and relax after a long day
Tyres provide a place to seat and relax after a long day | Courtesy of Andrew Esiebo

Tyres provide a fence for a community gym in the Abesan area of Lagos | Courtesy of Andrew Esiebo

Tyres could be the stepping stones for you
Tyres could be the stepping stones for you | Courtesy of Andrew Esiebo

Tyres provide a great way to rest your back in a second life
Tyres provide a great way to rest your back in a second life | Courtesy of Andrew Esiebo

Tyres can hold your spot by the river bank
Tyres can hold your spot by the river bank | Courtesy of Andrew Esiebo

 

ABOUT ANDREW ESIEBO


Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Andrew Esiebo is an accomplished visual storyteller whose photography began with providing insight into the rapid urbanization of Nigeria and Nigeria's vibrant cultural and heritage sites. Over time, he has expanded into multimedia and video reportage, tackling a whole range of complex subjects: sexuality, gender politics, football culture and popular culture, migration, religion, and spirituality.


He has been offered the Visa Pour La Création Prize by France's Institut Français as well as the Artistic Creation Prize by the Musée du Quai Branly. Several nominations that he has received in his career include the Prix Pictet, Magnum Emergency Fund, Sovereign African Art Prize, CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography, and the Joop Stewart Masterclass.


In 2010, he was chosen for the Road to Twenty-Ten project as one of an All-Africa Dream Team of journalists and photographers to provide alternative storylines from the host country during South Africa's World Cup.


His work has been extensively exhibited around the world, including in Brazil at the São Paulo Biennial, in Senegal during the Dakárt Biennial, at the Biennale Cuvée in Austria, the Havana Biennale, the Arles Photo Festival, the Photoquai Biennial in France, the Guangzhou Triennial in China, the Chobi Mela V Photo Festival in Bangladesh, the Noorderlicht Photo Festival in the Netherlands, Bamako Encounters in Mali, and also at the Lagos Photo Festival in Nigeria. Among these aforementioned significant exhibitions are "A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography" at London's Tate Modern and "Civilization: The Way We Live Now" at London's Saatchi Gallery. His work has also been featured at the Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean in Marseille, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, and large museums like the Red Cross Museum in Geneva, the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool, the Musée de la Musique in Paris, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and the and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.


His images have been published in titles including National Geographic, The New York Times, Courrier International, Le Point, CNN African Voices, the Washington Post, Financial Times, The Guardian, Marie Claire Italia, Le Monde Magazine, Time Out Nigeria, Mail & Guardian, Bloomberg, and Wallpaper, among many others.

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Waste not want not: Andrew Esiebo captures how Lagos gives tyres a second life

June 21, 2024

Obidike Okafor

2 min read

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