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The Institute of Contemporary African Art & Film - Studio Contra - Ilorin, Nigeria

The Institute of Contemporary African Art & Film (ICAAF) in Ilorin, Nigeria, is to be a purpose-built cultural museum of visual and cinematic arts, with post-production studios, facilities and screening room, art galleries and studio workshop. The foundation of ICAAF marks a historically significant moment in Nigeria as the first visual art institution of international significance in Nigeria. ICAAF is founded under the advisory of Dolly Kola-Balogun, Founder and Creative Director of Retro Africa gallery and Co-Founder of Atelier Hotels, Dolly is the first Gallery Director to successfully plan and execute a visual art institution of this significance in Nigeria from the ground up. The project is currently on site at 60% completion and set to launch in spring 2022.

In collaboration with the Governor of Kwara, Dolly Kola-Balogun was inspired by African, urban and rural artistic expression, to build a Museum that integrates critical areas of the creative industry to foster cultural engagement, inspire new investment incentives, educational opportunities and promote tourism development. While Nigerian films have made their mark through Nollywood, ICAAF is the first monumental cultural institution that celebrates and promotes Nigerian creativity. The local cultural facilities (including exhibition halls, performance halls, editing rooms, dub stage, screening rooms and educational services) are structured to highlight the arts, humanities, and the creative industry at large.

Through this development Kwara State will begin to foster an environment of learning, education and tourism for the region. Upon its formation, the state subsidized but privately run Institute will become a point of focus through its community-based outreach programs, promotional activities and strategic partnerships with educational and cultural institutions within Nigeria and abroad. With concerted effort and strategic planning, this initiative will serve as a catalyst to inspire the expansion of local cultural spaces, a comprehensive creative territory and cultural life circle that will gradually contribute to tourism development, investment opportunities and an enhanced public experience.

Designed by Studio Contra, a young Nigerian architecture firm, ICAAF will be an impressive architectural landmark combining contemporary design with a diverse programme spanning across mediums. The project is led by Dolly’s sister Olayinka Dosekun-Adjei, an architectural and urban designer, who has led architectural practices around the world.

ICAAF is a community driven place that celebrates the local culture while offering a futuristic vision for Nigeria. ICAAF will be comprised of art galleries, which will host curated exhibitions and showcases for the public, post-production facilities, which the institute and other skilled individuals will utilise for the benefit of the facility and the wider national film Industry, a film screening room and lecture hall, a café to further enhance the local F&B industry, a co-working space, a bookshop with wide selection of books on art, culture, film, architecture and literature, a multi-purpose room, as well as a sculpture garden with additional courtyards for public use.


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