On Saturday October 24, 2015, Lagos State began enjoying another level of beautification with glowing colours from stunning images by Nigeria’s finest and award-winning photographers, as well as images from renowned international artists, courtesy of the Lagos Photo Festival. The festival which ends on November 27, attracted an overwhelming turn out of art enthusiasts, art aficionados, Caucasians, artists and many more, who thronged the Escalator Entrance of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, to have a glimpse of aesthetics, creativity and innovation at its best.
It was the official opening of the annual Lagos Photo Festival organised by the African Artists’ Foundation, AAF which is now in its sixth edition. Themed, Designing Futures, the photography festival, the first and only international arts festival of photography in Nigeria, affords artists a platform to express themselves through lens, with the view to controlling Africa narratives.
The month long photo event features thirty-five photographers spanning eighteen countries; Egypt, France, South Africa, Italy, Ivory Coast, UK, India, The Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Morocco, DRC, Ghana, Germany, New Zealand, USA, Switzerland, Guinea and Nigeria. It covers areas of exhibitions, workshops, artist presentations, discussions, screening, and large scale outdoor installations in congested public spaces in Lagos.
Some of the exhibiting artists include; Owise Abuzaid (Egypt), Kadara Enyeasi (Nigeria), Andile Buka (South Africa), Mehdi Sefrioui ( Morocco), Joana Choumali (Ivory Coast) Zohra Opoku (Ghana/Germany), Patrick Selemani (Democratic Republic of Congo, and many others.
Aside works currently adorning Eko Hotel and Suites, satellite exhibition venues in arts and cultural spaces across Lagos metropolis extend to Omenka Gallery, Africans Artists’ Foundation, Stranger Lagos, Goethe- Institut, Nimbus Gallery, Alara Concept Store, A White Space Gallery, Yaba Tech, Quintessence, while outdoor exhibitions in public spaces in Lagos include Muri Okunola Park, Falomo Roundabout (Ikoyi), Awojobi Park (Onike), and Freedom Park.
Special projects & satellite exhibitions in conjunction with LagosPhoto include: Congo by Paolo Pellegrin and Alex Majoli at Art Twenty One ,World Press Photo 2015 POPCAP’15 , LagosPhoto Summer School , Etisalat Photography Competition: I Love Nigeria!, LagosPhoto Mobile App, LagosPhoto award and a host of others.
Proudly sponsored by Eko Hotel & Suites and Etisalat, LagosPhoto also enjoys partnership with World Press Photo. Supporters include Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, Lagos State Signage & Advertisement Agency, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Romarong, Pixers, Goethe Institut, Media sponsors; Hello Nigeria!, Brick Plus Magazine, Cool FM, Cool TV, Konbini and 54artistry. LagosPhoto is additionally supported by the Ford Foundation.
“LagosPhoto aims to provide a platform for the development and education of contemporary photography in Africa by establishing mentorships and cross-cultural collaborations with local and international artists. It presents photography as it is embodied in the exploration of historical and contemporary issues, the promotion of social programmes, and the reclaiming of public spaces. Considering the theme and conversation of interest, the festival is intended to explore contemporary dialogues surrounding design in Africa.”
Curator of the festival, Cristina del Middel who is a past exhibitor in two previous editions, said “LagosPhoto has taken the arduous task to show the world all the new possibilities that the trinomial Africa/Photography/Design can bring and of course it can’t stay away from the evident changes that the medium is experiencing lately.”
AAF Director, Azu Nwagbogu said “The Purpose of LagoPhoto since inception is Clear; to learn, observe explore and build a community around contemporary photography as it relates to Africa…By investigating the linkages between photography and design, we are introduced to new varied and exciting ways of visualising and realising a newer and hopefully a better future.
The thirty-five exhibiting photographers with diverse range of projects were all selected because they further illuminate or perhaps not, this blurred boundary between contemporary photography and design. The 6th edition positions the relationship between Africa design, the design of Africa and our understanding of how we may design Africa, as the platform to discuss our past, present and future intentions.”
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