Late last year, 23-year-old Obayomi Anthony beat out a bunch of other upcoming photographers at the Lagos Photo Festival and National Geographic Society’s Portfolio Review — winning $10,000 — for his impressive series, Bonafide Squatters.
A project he started over a year ago, Bonafide Squatters documents the subpar living standards experienced by thousands of students at the University of Lagos. According to Obayomi, the aim was to tell the story of housing problems in Lagos from a student perspective.
For over 57,000 students in UNILAG, the school only provides 8,000 bed spaces for students to occupy. While alternative housing options are available in the surroundings outside and around the University, they are very expensive, so it exists as options for only a privileged few.
Speaking about what inspired the project, Obayomi said:
“The general lack of space and inadequate accommodation for students is a problem the government and educational boards have offered no reasonable solutions to in decades.
Squatting with friends or paying to be attached to overcrowded little hostel rooms, sleeping in classrooms or abandoned spaces and buildings.
Unhealthy and sometimes extremely harmful situations are some consequences of several attempts by students to find accommodation during years at the university.”
You can check out the rest of the series on his website.