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Festival 2017


Nov 24 -
Dec 15 2017



LagosPhoto is the first and only international arts festival of photography in Nigeria. The festival presents photography as it is embodied in the exploration of historical and contemporary issues, the promotion of social programmes, and the reclamation and engagement of public spaces in showcasing contemporary photography.
LagosPhoto Festival is delighted to announce the 8th edition of the Lagos Photo festival, themed Regimes of Truth, under the curatorship of the renowned fashion designer Duro Olowu.

Held between the 24th of November- 15th of December, this year’s LagosPhoto encompasses an engaging programme of events with cultural and artistic gains. Exhibitions of finely curated works of photography from the African continent and the diaspora, large-scale and performative installations dotted around iconic public spaces in Lagos, as well as artists’ presentations, workshops and the like.

Regimes of Truth will explore 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. Gustave Flaubert’s L’Empire de la Bêtis (The Empire of Stupidity), Orwell’s creation of “doublethink” from his dystopian novel 1984, as well as the writings of Foucault, Achebe and Huxley, all possessed foresight about contemporary society’s concurrent quandary, whereby access to information on one hand and substantive facts on the other hand, are masked by a constructed rhetoric. Regimes of Truth thus ruminates on the tension and confluence between veracity and artifice in society today.

Contemporary photography serves as a gatekeeper of reality and truth as well as a conjurer of artistic imaginings for the viewer’s pleasure and introspection.

Our quotidian living is rife with the creation and sharing of images, alluding to photography as the axis on which our interdependence and freedom rotates. It is therefore the ideal medium to explore the search for reality and truth in contemporary society.

Thus, through their works, LagosPhoto’s exhibiting photographers will articulate how photography embodies the cohesion, as well as the juxtaposition of truth and reality in contemporary society. Regimes of Truth debuts new work by acclaimed artists such as Samuel Fosso, whose series "Black Pope" delves into the politics of religion and explores the often shied away reflections on religion in Africa.

As always LagosPhoto, will remain unbiased and encompass a wide-range of photographic approaches. Historical work, archival material, reportage, collage, conceptual and non-conceptual image based approach will be considered by Olowu’s curatorial team.
LagosPhoto 2017 Artists include:

Lubabetu Abubakar (Nigeria)
James Barnor (Ghana)
Joana Choumali (Ivory Coast)
Kadara Enyeasi (Nigeria)
Samuel Fosso (Cameroon)
Hassan Hajjaj (Morocco/UK)
Nicola Lo Calzo (Italy)
Bas Losekoot (Netherlands)
Mohau Modisakeng (South Africa)
Zanele Muholi (South Africa)
Marilyn Nance (USA)
Jackie Nickerson (USA)
Logor (Nigeria)
Ruth Ossai (Nigeria)
Leonce Raphael Agbodgelou (Benin)
Thabiso Sekgala (South Africa)
Daniele Tamagni (Italy)
Stephen Tayo (Nigeria)
Osaretin Ugiagbe (Nigeria/USA)
Giya Makondo-Wills (UK/South Africa)
Amina Zoubir (France/Algeria)
Liz Johnson Artur (Russia/Ghana)

Launched in 2010, LagosPhoto has established a community for contemporary photography, which unites local and international artists through images that encapsulate individual experiences and identities from across all of Africa. LagosPhoto presents and educates about photography as it is embodied in photojournalism, the exploration of historical and contemporary social issues, the sharing of cultural practices, and the promotion of social programs.
LagosPhoto is organized by the African Artists’ Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion and development of contemporary African art. Established in 2007 in Lagos, Nigeria, African Artists’ Foundation aims to encourage the highest standard of art in Africa through organizing art exhibitions, festivals, competitions, residencies, and workshops.
Interested partners and sponsors can contact us at: 
Interested participants could send low res' JPEG or pdfs to
Twitter: @LagosPhotoFest
Facebook: LagosPhoto Festival
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2017 Photographers

Curator’s Statement

Regimes of Truth

“The Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war. The Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order. And the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for economic affairs. Their names, in Newspeak: Minitrue, Minipax, Miniluv, and Miniplenty..” George Orwell 1984 Part one, Chapter One.


Photography, like science is an observational study that is enhanced by a fecund imagination. This aspect of active imagination and creative ingenuity is often concealed by their rhetoric of truthfulness and their claims of veracity. It is this tension between evolving inventiveness and dissolving dogmatism that fosters knowledge and has linked both disciplines forever. But the ligand that binds both photography and science is also faith, an active faith that enables action and confidence to make bold predictions about the future. This is because the viewer must be seduced and then engage to believe. Without the suspension of disbelief the work falls flat and is therefore meaningless.


Over the last century a number of writers and thinkers have predicted our contemporary society’s information and knowledge quandary: Achebe, Flaubert, Huxley and Orwell being germane examples. With the improving affordability and influence of the print press Flaubert believed that newspapers were spreading idiocy and mental laziness a combination he crystallised into one word — la bêtise. Flaubert railed against the situation where populations were told what to think and wore these received opinions like fashion to be displayed at every opportunity. Orwell was concerned that books would be banned and society would be deprived of information but Huxley went further and was concerned that there would indeed be little reason to ban information for in the superfluity of information and saturation of falsehood the truth would be less palatable and more obscure such as to be irrelevant and unwelcome. Alternative facts are much preferred. With Achebe we are only assured in one essential truth: for the African we must find our own truth.


The 2017 edition of LagosPhoto Festival calls to reflect on these regimes of truths and beliefs, and the fading relevance of the quest for reality in our time. Contemporary photography is the new repository of the fading quest for reality, not by virtue of its supposed freedom, but because it embodies the synthesis and unmasks the contradictions of the knowledge society and its imperative for creativity. It is our point of interdependence and the most democratic tool for social engagement today in the sense that almost everyone can make pictures and share using smart phones.


Under these conceptual premises, the curatorial team at LagosPhoto led by guest curator and Duro Olowu and artistic director Azu Nwagbogu will gather established and emerging artists whose work, ironically, subtly or brutally unveil the dissemination of power and the unfolding of new irreverential global logic at work in the construction of subjectivities as fragmented, euphoric beings. As is usual with LagosPhoto, there will be no boundaries or bias based on photographic approach. Historical work, archival material, reportage, collage, conceptual and non-conceptual image based approach will be considered by Mr Olowu’s lead curatorial team.