The Best of LagosPhoto

African Artists' Foundation

In the 7 years since its inception, “LagosPhoto Festival” has grown a strong reputation as one of the key contemporary art events on the African continent.  This abridged catalog covers the best of the festival from inception till date (2010-2017). 

LagosPhoto 2010: No Judgement: Africa Under the Prism. 
The fastest growing medium of creative expression in Africa today is photography. From blurry shots of family and friends taken with cell phones to the nuanced images from professionals.

photography tells us stories that, if well done, can lodge themselves in our minds and change the way we look at the world...

[LagosPhoto] is confident enough about the power of photography not to focus on sensationalism. Instead, it is about encouraging people to tell stories.

those everyday ordinary stories that accumulate and remind us as we so often need to be reminded—of our common humanity
~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

LagosPhoto 2011:What's Next Africa? The Hidden Stories. 
For LagosPhoto 2011 it was our aim to show where the African continent is going with all its problems, challenges, variety, beauty, and ideas.                           LagosPhoto 2011 was curated by Marc Prust. 

These stories are out there...

These are the stories we are looking for; [stories that] cross the boundaries of what we think we know about Africa.

cross the boundaries of what we know as traditional photography and show us your interpretation of where Africa is, and where it might be headed.

Surprise us and we’ll surprise Lagos!

LagosPhoto 2012: Seven Days in the Life of Lagos.
Lagos is the most populous city in Nigeria, the second fastest growing city in Africa, and the seventh fastest growing city in the world. A city of extremes and contradictions, Lagos transforms with the fast pace of urban migration and the explosion of development and technology that is dissolving barriers and leading to new types of interactions. LagosPhoto 2012 aimed to document the city of Lagos from a comprehensive and nuanced perspective, one that reveals the big picture by focusing on the minute details of social life.  This edition of LagosPhoto was curated by Joseph Gergel and Medina Dugger

Photographers focused on various topics documenting the city of Lagos from a comprehensive and nuanced perspective.

one that reveals the big picture.

by focusing on the minute details of social life.

LagosPhoto 2013:The Megacity and the Non-City
Curated by Joseph Gergel, The Megacity and the Non-City explores how the development of urban centers in Africa and the technical advance of photography have transformed our sense of place in a globally connected world. Urban development,population explosion, environmental changes, socio-economic gaps,and the rising middle class in metropolitan centers in Africa redefine the structure of the city as it continuously evolves. 

The artists presented in The Megacity and the Non-City adopt photographic practices and image-based strategies to negotiate the expanding urban landscape of Africa today, with its contradictions, gray areas, and sites of dispute.

LagosPhoto 2014: Staging Reality, Documenting Fiction
Curated by Azu Nwagbogu, Staging Reality, Documenting Fiction, examines contemporary photographers working in Africa who negotiate the boundaries and relationships between photography, beliefs, and truths. 

These artists produce work that considers the complex social and political concerns that define a new Africa in the twenty-first century, and they explore how the ubiquity of images plays a vital role in how reality is constructed and articulated.

Staging Reality, Documenting Fiction considers how these artists imagine different futures and charter fictive worlds, using photography as a catalyst to investigate the changing realities of Africa today.

LagosPhoto 2015: Designing Futures
The sixth edition of LagosPhoto Festival 'Designing Futures' curated by Cristina De Middel, positions the relationships between African design. Designing Futures highlights crucial aspects of ‘making’ that come into play in African signs and design dialogues.

The making of image, identity, desire, ecology, and even culture are explored through advertising, textiles, portraiture, factual and conceptual photography.

These offer tangible and esoteric backdrops to how we process, navigate and inhabit the realms of a future Africa.

These images create a dialogue about appropriation, identity and beauty.

LagosPhoto 2016: Inherent Risk: Rituals and Performance
Curated by Cristina De Middel and Maria Pia Bernardoni, Inherent Risk: Rituals and Performance explores the role of acts of repetition that shape gender, image, identity, social agency, power and social constructs in contemporary society. Actions repeated constantly, becomes a ritual, its transference into other spaces of engagement becomes a performance.

Each image is the direct representation of the world, a human trace on a material surface.

The photograph turns into a cognitive instrument of reality because a photograph is not just an image; is also a record, a document, a message and a construction.”

The preceding choice of each action contains an inherent risk.

In a statement discussing the theme, the curator says, "Changing the shutter, adjusting the lens, capturing the moment..."

"...all those movements can be considered as the rituals of photographers but beyond these obvious acts and interpretation, we wish to explore further.

Credits: Story

Azu Nwagbogu

Curatorial Direction
Kadara Enyeasi

Curatorial Text/Editor
Asibi C. Danjuma

With Support From
Nguveren Ahua and Hannah Oghene

Special Thanks To
Adolphus Opara, Andrew Esiebo, Viviane Sassen, Jodi Bieber, Aderemi Adegbite, Sabelo Mlangeni, Chantal Heijnen, Benedicte Kurzen, George Osodi, Akintunde Akinleye, Stanley Greene, Mouhamdou Sow, Samuel Fosso, Cyrus Kabiru, Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, Nicola lo Calzo, Joe Penney, Patrick Willocq, Namsa Leuba, Mary Sibande, Jenevieve Aken, Cristina De Middel, Nobukho Nqaba, Ima Mfon, Andile Buka, Omar Victor Diop, Antoine Tempe, Kadara Enyeasi, Joana Choumali, James Ostrer, TY Bello, David Uzochukwu, Lakin Ogunbanwo, Sanne de Wilde, Kudzanai Chiurai, Thierry Fontaine, Kiluanji Kia Henda and Juno Calypso

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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