Thursday, 29 September 2011

LAGOS PHOTO FESTIVAL


Lagos Photo Festival converges over 40 world photographers
 By Tajudeen Sowole


Ronke Adeola of Food Affairs (left), Co-director of Lagos Photo, Zainab Ashadu and speaking, co-curator, Medina Dugger
  WHEN African, American and European photographers converge on Lagos for the second edition of Lagos Photo Festival, another art content for tourism in Nigeria would have been spotlighted.
  With What’s Next Africa? -The Hidden Stories, as theme, participants in the 2011 edition, which opens on Sunday October 9, 2011 at the Eko Hotel and Suites Convention Center, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria, are expected to use the power of their lens to focus on the uncommon story of Africa.  
  Organised by African Artists’ Foundation (AAF) in collaboration with the European National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), the festival, according to the co-director, Zainab Ashadu is bringing together 18 African and 23 European and American photographers with the “aims of using the power of photography to represent the hidden stories of the continent as opposed to the over represented, sensationalised and dramatic images on Africa popular across the world.”

Participants from Africa and Europe, last year in Lagos
 
  Last year, the exhibitions were mounted at various centers such as Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island; MKO Abiola Garden, Ojota; Prof. Ayodele Awojobi Park, Onike, Yaba and AAF assured that the festival project would establish “a community for contemporary photography that will unite, in the city of Lagos, local and international artists, through images that encapsulate individual experiences and identities from across Africa.” 
   Ashadu, during the preview, expressed joy that the project had come to stay.
 Kelechi Obi Amadi, Akintunde Akinleye , Nana Kofi Acquah, Aderemi Adegbite, Jodi Bieber, Victor Ehikhamenor, George Osodi and Joseph Penney are some of the photographers, whose works will feature in the exhibitions segment of the festival. Azu Nwagbogu and Marc Prust will serve as director and curator of the 2011 edition respectively.
  Some of the highlights of the festival’s opening ceremony and exhibition, include Lagos Photo Party in the Park, on October 15 and 16 at Muri Okunola Park Victoria Island, Lagos;  Lagos Photo Photo Walk (for amateur and professional photographers) October 22 and 23; Photography Workshops for amateur and professional photographers, October 7 to 23; as well as, Fashion photography exhibitions /film screenings - Freedom park, Lagos Island October 30.
Some of the works on display, last year
  After the grand opening of the exhibition, the outdoor sub-events continue at Muri Okunola park, Victoria Island, Falomo underpass Ikoyi, MKO Abiola Park Ketu and Prof Ayodele Awojobi Park, University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba.
  Co-curator, Medina Dugger explained that the format of presentation for the outdoor exhibitions would not change this year “as it remains the only way to weather the storm.” For this year’s event, there will be other cultural contents such as foods and music. Ronke Adeola of Foods Affairs noted that, though food is an every day aspect of life, the cultural perspective is also important. This much she hoped would be a good mix with photography. “It’s going to be great to experience food and photography.”
 Ilaria Chessa, Creative Producer of Music Matters stated that Lagos Photo Festival would give young artists in Nigeria opportunity to be heard.

Participants at Lagos Photo Festival in Lagos, last year
Also involved in the event is Goethe Institute, Lagos. Its director, Marc-Andre Schmachtel pledged that the German cultural centre would continue to support Lagos Photo because of the cross border creative and tourism potential of the festival.






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