The LagosPhoto Festival, one of the largest photography festivals in Africa, makes its big comeback from October 25 to December 31, 2023, between Lagos in Nigeria and other cities in Benin that will host a rich program around the theme « Ground State – Fellowship within the uncanny ».
This 14th edition of the LagosPhoto Festival will feature exhibitions, screenings, conferences, round tables, photography workshops, photo contests as well as festive events. The festival will showcase emerging and established artists working with photographic and audiovisual techniques.
A theme anchored in the times
This year’s theme « Ground State – Fellowship within the uncanny » echoes the troubled era in which we live. Artists are invited to propose projects that question the present and imagine how repair, decay, restitution and resurrection could happen.
The festival seeks to highlight our own complicity in a culture of desire based on consumption and how to encourage a dynamic spiritual change fellowship, a rebirth of the unimaginable.
The photographs and films presented will provide opportunities for audiences to reflect on these burning issues.
Exhibitions in several cities
The photographic exhibitions will be presented in different venues in Lagos and Cotonou, Ouidah and Porto-Novo in Benin.
The festival will kick off on October 27 in Ouidah, Benin, with the opening of exhibitions at the Zinsou Foundation and the CCRI John Smith. Performances by artists like Tobi Onabolu and Rafiy are planned for the evening.
The festival will continue on October 28 and 29 in Cotonou, with other group exhibitions and events, such as a festive evening at the Borna Soglo Gallery on October 28.
On October 30 and 31, the festival will move to Porto-Novo with an exhibition by Amina Kadous, Isadora Romero and Laeïla Adjovi on the 30th, as well as a beach brunch and closing reception in Benin on the 31st at Nova Club.
After a few days of travel, the festival will resume in Lagos, Nigeria from November 2 to 8. The opening will take place on November 2 at the African Artists’ Foundation with a group exhibition bringing together the work of Adrian L. Burrell, Chris Iduma, Harlan Bozeman, Jon Henry, M’hammed Kilito, Maheder Haileselassie, Minne Atairu, Mo Laudi, Philip Toledano and Raul Jorge Gourgel. Musician Ash will perform at the opening.
The next day, a solo exhibition by Georges Adeagbo will be presented at the Alliance Française in Lagos. On November 5, photographs by Candela Paniagua, Maija Tammi, Roman Butym and Pavlo Kyryk will be honored at the Federal Printing Press in Lagos.
Several other group and solo exhibitions will punctuate the festival in the different cities, offering a rich and varied panorama of contemporary creation in Africa and worldwide.
Screenings, conferences and round tables
In addition to the exhibitions, numerous events will punctuate the festival. Film screenings are planned, such as the film « Metabolism » by artist Eugenia Lim or a program of short films on November 7 at the African Artists’ Foundation.
Various conferences and round tables will bring together artists, critics and photography professionals. For example, on November 4, a discussion on « Women in Photography » will be held with Gloria Oyarzabal, Lourdes R. Basoli, Marta Soul and Paula Anta.
On November 5, the Nigerian photographer Lola Fatoyinbo will present her project exploring the coastal wonders of West Africa at the Alliance Française in Lagos.
Other conferences and discussions will explore topics such as memory, the power of images, individual and collective identity. They will provide opportunities for stimulating exchanges between artists, intellectuals and audiences.
Workshops open to all
No less than 8 photography workshops will be held during the festival, in Lagos and Benin. Open to beginners and enthusiasts alike, they will allow participants to learn or improve their skills in various techniques such as street photography, product photography or animal and environmental photography.
Free workshops will also be offered to children and teenagers in partnership with The Children’s Art Gallery in Lagos.
These participatory workshops will open up photographic practice to the widest possible audience. They will promote discovery, learning and sharing around the common passion for photography.
On the festive side, concerts, performances and convivial events will punctuate the festival with concerts between Ouidah and Cotonou in Benin with artists like Dodji Efoui with a closing evening planned for November 8 in Lagos.
These moments of conviviality and relaxation will bring together festival participants and the general public around culture and the arts. They will help make this event both intellectually stimulating and warm.
A photography competition
The LagosPhoto Festival also hosts a photography competition open to emerging and professional photographers from Africa and its diaspora. Winners will receive cash and in-kind prizes. The winners will be announced on October 29 in Ouidah, Benin.
This competition will showcase photographic talents from the continent and provide a showcase for promising young artists.
A springboard for talent
A real springboard, the LagosPhoto Festival offers exceptional visibility to both emerging and established artists. It reveals the vitality of the contemporary photographic scene on the African continent and its diaspora.
Many African and international photographers and video artists will be honored, including Georges Adeagbo, Adrian L. Burrell, Lola Fatoyinbo, Chris Iduma, Tobi Onabolu, Amina Kadous and Candela Paniagua. This festival is a unique opportunity to discover their work.
Critics, curators and photography professionals such as Azu Nwagbogu, Maria Pia Bernadoni and Peggy Sue Amison will also participate in round tables and portfolio review sessions, allowing artists to benefit from their experiences.
An unmissable event, this 14th edition promises to be rich in discoveries and exchanges around photography. The LagosPhoto Festival will shine brightly for over two months across various cities, inviting audiences to reflect on the issues of our time through the eyes of today’s photographers.
With its abundant programming between exhibitions, screenings, conferences, workshops and festive events in Lagos and various cities in Benin, the festival once again asserts itself as one of the most important events dedicated to contemporary photography on the African continent.