Launched in 2010, LagosPhoto is the first and only international arts festival of photography in Nigeria. For a month long duration, exhibitions, workshops, artist presentations and large scale installations are dotted throughout the city, with the aim of reclaiming public spaces and telling multifaceted stories about Africa. LagosPhoto presents a contemporary and historical visual essay on the African continent to a global audience. Additionally, it serves as a community for contemporary photographers, uniting local and international artists through images that depict individual experiences and identities throughout the continent.
In 2010, LagosPhoto held its inaugural edition titled No Judgment: Africa Under the Prism at the Eko Hotel & Suites, which saw over a thousand guests in attendance on the opening night. Subsequently in 2011, the theme was What’s Next Africa? The Hidden stories and the edition featured the works of over 42 artists from within Africa and the diaspora.The 3rd edition of LagosPhoto in 2012 had Seven Days in the Life of Lagos as its theme and it featured twenty-nine local and international photographers covering various aspect of Lagosian life.
It was followed in 2013 by The Megacity and the Non-city, which explored the development of urban centers in Africa and how influential the technical advancement of photography has been to our sense of global connectivity. Staging Reality, Documenting Fiction was the theme in 2014. It considered how artists imagine different futures, using photography as a catalyst in investigating the changing realities of Africa today. This was succeeded in 2015 by Designing Futures, whereby 35 photographers, spanning 21 different nationalities, narrated how African designs serve as platform to discuss our past, present and future intentions.
In 2016, the festival themed Rituals and Performance captured the act of posing as a repetitive act that constructs an image or images, which morph into an idea or identity as an act of courage for both the subject and photographer. In 2017, the festival was themed Regimes of Truth, which explored the pursuit for and presentation of truth in contemporary society, gleaning inspiration from the writings of some of the 19th and 20th centuries’ most influential literary realists and intellectuals.
Last year’s edition was themed Time Has Gone which explores the configurations by which the past, the present and the future interact within the photographic medium. Time will be approached from different angles, highlighting matters of momentum, documentation and preservation, taking into consideration the intimacy of stories as well as the breadth of the concept itself.
LagosPhoto invited 4 curators to investigate the diversity that time encompasses: Eva Barois De Caevel, Wunika Mukan, Charlotte Langhorst and Valentine Umansky. Their curatorial discourse unearths the non-linearity of time and the complexity of our experience to memory.
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