14th LagosPhoto Festival Announces Places, Artist List, and Theme

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Lagos, Nigeria – The 14th edition of the LagosPhoto Festival is set to be a groundbreaking cultural event, expanding its reach beyond Lagos and venturing into Cotonou, Ouidah, and Porto-Novo in the Republic of Benin. The African Artists’ Foundation, a Lagos-based art space, unveiled the final list of 38 national and international artists participating in this year’s festival, making it the largest and most ambitious edition to date.

Running from October 27 to December 31, 2023, the LagosPhoto Festival will offer a diverse audience the opportunity to engage with the powerful works of talented photographers who aim to challenge the culture of desire founded on consumption.

The artists selected for this year’s festival represent a wide range of creative perspectives and backgrounds. They include established and emerging talents such as Adrian L. Burrell, Aïsso Eliane, Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, Amina Kadous, Arko Datto, Candela Paniagua, Carlos Idun, Chris Iduma, Eugenia Lim, Federico Estol, Fikayo Adebajo, Georges Adeagbo, Gloria Oyarzabal, Gohar Dashti, Hamed Noor, Isadora Romero, Ishola Akpo, Jon Henry, Laeila Adjovi, Louis Oke-Agbo, Maheder Haileselassie, Maija Tammi, Matthew Thorne & Derik Lynch, M’hammed Kilito, Minne Atairu, Mo Laudi, Phil Toledano, Poulomi Basu, Prince Charles Uhunoma, Raquel Van Haver, Raul Jorge Gourgel, Rehab Eldalil, Roman Butym & Pavlo Kyryk, Sophie Négrier, Tobi Onabolu, Trent H. Bozeman, Wesaam Al Badry, Zanele Muholi, and Zora J Murff.

The festival’s theme for 2023, “Ground State – Fellowship Within the Uncanny,” challenges artists to explore the current moment and envision themes of repair, syncopation, putrefaction, restitution, and restoration through the medium of photography.

Photography, as a powerful storytelling tool, has played a significant role in shaping public opinion in the digital age. It has both bridged gaps and widened divides, and in the last two decades, it has been associated with the rise of post-truth ideologies and divisive tribalism. The world faces a multitude of challenges, including post-COVID realities, growing conflicts, and the undeniable impacts of climate change. Persistent colonial mindsets still influence judgments of worth, perpetuating inequity. The 2023 LagosPhoto Festival seeks to address these issues by encouraging artists to reimagine decolonized and sustainable futures that disrupt existing hierarchies.

As the world reaches what can be described as a “Ground State,” where conventional wisdom and common sense no longer apply, there is a pressing need to restore and repair the mysteries of oral histories and essential elements of human survival. The festival invites artists to present new perspectives on humanity’s revival and equilibrium through hopeful visions of social, political, environmental, and spiritual change.

Since its inception in 2010, LagosPhoto has cultivated a vibrant community of local and international artists, united by their passion for contemporary photography. Through a rich program of exhibitions, workshops, screenings, and large-scale outdoor installations, the festival promotes education and reclaims public spaces, sharing the historical and contemporary stories of the African continent through the lens of photography.

The 14th LagosPhoto Festival promises to be a powerful and thought-provoking cultural event that not only showcases the transformative power of photography but also seeks to inspire a new vision of our world as we navigate the challenges of the 21st century. This year’s expansion into Benin is a testament to the festival’s commitment to sharing these important stories with a broader audience, fostering connections and dialogues across borders. For more information and event details, please visit the festival’s official website at lagosphotofestival.com.

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