Late Capitalism, Urbanisation, and Cultures of Economic "Survivalism" in the BBC’s Welcome to Lagos

Aghogho Akpome

Abstract


This article examines the depiction of three impoverished Lagosian slums in the controversial British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) documentary, Welcome to Lagos, which highlights the negative impacts of globalised capitalism on urban culture in Nigeria's commercial centre and biggest city. In recent times scholarship on postcolonial urbanisation has been marked by an important shift in focus from economic concerns to interest in the peculiar cultural dimensions of life in postcolonial cities. As this article argues, however, dominant depictions of postcolonial cities continue to highlight ways in which cultural responses to the harsh effects of late capitalism in such cities reflect economic strategies of what Mike Davis calls "informal survivalism."

Keywords


urbanisation, globalisation, marginalisation, slums, living conditions, films

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