10 Photographers to Look Out for at LagosPhoto Festival 2017
With only a few weeks to go, the art scene is buzzing about the expectations for the 2017 LagosPhoto Festival. 36 photographers from several countries around the world have poured their hearts and souls into the creation of stories, documentation, and expressions that depict meaningful fragments of the places, memories, and spaces with which they identify. In no particular order, we present to you a list of 10 photographers to watch out for.
Joana Choumali, born in 1974, is a fine art photographer based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. She studied graphic arts in Casablanca and worked as an art director in an advertising agency before embarking on her photography career. Choumali works primarily on conceptual portraiture, mixed media, and documentary and she uses her photography to explore issues of identity. Much of her work focuses on Africa, and what she, as an African is learning about the cultures around her.
Ghanaian photographer and storyteller Francis Kokoroko earned his degree in computer science. However, after taking a photography class, he realised it was his true passion. Now an accomplished photojournalist in Accra, Kokoroko is working on documenting Ghana’s culture and social progression as he believes there is a backlog of stories on culture and social progression that should be documented.
Lubabetu Abubakar is a Nigerian photographer best known for her series ‘Ojoro’, a portfolio about the female menstrual circle, welcoming a girl into adulthood as she begins her journey towards embracing her femininity and graduation to womanhood. While she studied to obtain a degree in law, Abubakar began a career in photography in England. At the 2016 edition of the Lagos Fashion Week, she successfully captured rare moments behind the scenes of the event, as designers prepared to have their collections grace the runway. In a recent interview, she explains that “most of my work is my best attempt at painting from memory.”
Oluwamuyiwa Logo works predominantly in black-and-white photography, employing both a conceptual and a documentary approach. He seeks to use the camera as a shrewd observer of the human carnival by capturing people, things, and stories from perspectives that are often overlooked, ignored or taken for granted. Logo’s most recent series ‘Monochrome Lagos’ is a unique reflection of his home city, as well as an exposé of its idiosyncrasies and aesthetics. He has participated in significant exhibitions including Perspectives from Within (2016), School of Arts in San Francisco, Lagos: Hustle & Hope (2015), and Lagos: Young Contemporaries (2016) both at the Rele Gallery.
Nadine Ijewere is a Nigerian photographer known for her exploration of representation, and the intersections between identity, gender, and sexuality. Working between fashion editorial and personal projects, Ijewere visited her grandmother’s hometown in Lagos in April to shoot a contemporary portrait series titled ‘9-ja_17’. The images focus on the relationship between youth and notions of gender and identity, blurring the lines of clothing, poses, and location. Images from this series were exhibited as part of the Unseen Photo Fair, Amsterdam and New African Photography II group exhibition, Brooklyn
Kadara Enyeasi’s creativity spans across various other disciplines including architecture, menswear, and low relief sculpture. His work bridges the gap between indigenous traditions and Western ideas of sexuality and human psychology. Enyeasi is inspired by the works of Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Lakin Ogunbanwo, Viviane Sassen, Peter Lindbergh, Mustafa Sabbagh and Andre Wagner.
Alun Be is a Senegalese photographer, whose captivating images distinguish themselves through profound expression in high contrast. Born in Dakar, his diverse approach has carved a niche suspended between his upbringing in France, the United States, and West Africa. Be’s art form is constantly evolving through personal projects focused on the human condition in public spaces, incited by his studies in San Francisco where he received his M.A. in Architecture. He has exhibited at Galeries Lafayette in Paris and 50 Golborne gallery in London.
Osborne Macharia, a self-taught commercial photographer, has worked with international agencies from London, South Africa, Cyprus, and the US. Macharia has an ability to bring stories to life from behind his lens. He has a knack for animating his characters to seem like they are jumping out at you with something to say. His narrative style of photography is not only entertaining but also makes for a powerful platform to convey messages on topics like gender abuse, ivory poaching and victims of war-torn regions in Africa.
Ugandan born and Kenya-based Sarah Waiswa is a documentary and portrait photographer. Her work explores identity on the African continent, particularly the new African identity. This new identity refers to our current day and age, which contrasts previous times in Africa when there was little room for self-expression especially through art, fashion, film, and photography. Waiswa’s unwavering curiosity to learn the craft and find the courage to share her work led her to quit her corporate career to pursue a full-time career in photography. Not long after, she won the prestigious Rencontres d’Arles 2016 Discovery award for her photography series ‘Stranger in a Familiar Land’.
Eloghosa Osunde is a writer and photographer who lives and works in Lagos. Through her work in photography and writing, she attempts to gain insight into social and personal complexities. Reoccurring themes in her work include gender, grief, loss, love, trauma, and belonging. Osunde is interested in the documentation of urgent stories, using both photographs and words. In 2015, she held her first exhibition Woman in Bloom at Freedom Park and in 2016, she was selected as one of the artists for Rele Gallery’s Young Contemporaries Exhibition, where she exhibited her series ‘Obalende’.
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