Lagos Photo Festival 2022 is On!

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Art season is in full swing in Lagos, Nigeria. The 13th edition of the Lagos Photo Festival is taking place. The theme; “Remember Me – Liberated Bodies, Charged Objects”, Opened on October 29, in Alliance Francaise/Mike Adenuga Center, Ikoyi, Lagos, and it will still run till 12 November. If you have a chance to go, the ANA team highly recommends it. More below:

In the LagosPhoto 2022 Press Release it says:

“Traditionally, ethnographers have indulged in the fantastical and a tribe of contemporary artists working in relation to Africa and its various Diasporas obsess with phantasmagoria and futurity in dealing with contemporary issues. This disavowal of reality is challenged in Liberated Bodies, Charged Objects. We invite the future and the past to collapse into the present. The artists engage the language of photography to evolve a new language for our engagement.  

The restitution of cultural artifacts, knowledge, history, and memory, and the urgency of vigilance in the Anthropocene is the pressing issues of our age. The way we capture and address our most pressing issues and present them for dialogical engagement will determine the way we shape the present and build our futures. 

The human brain records and interprets factual and fictional instances through the eyes; the camera-in-like manner became a bodily extension of the human mind for shaping and sculpting images. First as a faithful documenter of events and happenings from the 19th century. Then later on as a tool for subjective, fictional narration that tricks us into dream-like, imagined worlds.”

Taiwo Aina,  2022

Curated by African Artists’ Foundation (AAF) Director, Azu Nwagbogu, this year’s festival consists of over 30 photographers from across Africa, showcasing their rendition of this year’s theme. The festival included an exhibition, workshops, and film screenings.

Artists represented are:

Olaoluwa Adamu (Nigeria), Seun Adeniyi (Nigeria), Toyin Adedokun (Nigeria), Adesegun Adeokun (Nigeria), Yusuf Adesola (Nigeria), Jumoke Adeyanju (Nigeria/ Germany), Taiwo Aina (Nigeria), Morenike Ajayi (Nigeria/Canada), Owoyemi Ajibola (Nigeria), Oluyomi Akinnagbe (Nigeria), Taoheed Bayo (Nigeria/USA), Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC) (DR Congo), David Dawali (Nigeria), Benson Ibeabuchi (Nigeria), Femi Johnson (Nigeria), Danielle Mbonu (Nigeria), Oyedeji Mohammed (Nigeria), Oke Oluwasegun (Nigeria), Michael Jerry Opara (Nigeria), Adeolu Osibodu (Nigeria), Aghogho Otega (Nigeria), Dafna Tal (Israel), Ebisike Valentine (Nigeria), Unachukwu Vincent (Nigeria), Hugo Webber(Italy).

Picture courtesy of Azeeza Sanni

In the lineup of this year’s festival, there was a collaboration between African Artists’ Foundation and LagosPhoto: an activation that started earlier in the year called, “Searching for Prince Emmanuel Adewale Oyenuga/ Unpacking The Suitcase”. 

Picture courtesy of Azeeza Sanni

In 1967, Prince Emmanuel Adewale Oyenuga was a student at Escuala Massana, an art school in Barcelona. A few years later, Prince Emmanuel relocated to London with his wife Elizabeth and left his suitcase behind. With a friend named Luisa Guadayol. Luisa passed away in 2016 and her daughter, Ana Briongos contacted AAF, determined to return the suitcase of Prince Oyenuga.

“The material found in the suitcase points to different social and cultural moments in the history of Nigeria and beyond: the Nigerian Civil War, the cultural ties between two countries, Nigeria and Spain, the legacy of the artist, the story of emigration, Nigerian studio photography of the ’70s and first and foremost, to restitution.”


The official handover of Prince Oyenuga’s suitcase took place on 8 November 2022 at the Spanish embassy in Abuja, Nigeria. The festival’s opening night included an outdoor installation and performance by BolatitoAderemi-Ibitola (Nigeria).

Picture courtesy of Lagos Photo Festival
Picture courtesy of Lagos Photo Festival

In the exhibition, a wall dedicated to Reuters photojournalist images, the striking moments, frozen in time speaking to world events was captivating.

Picture courtesy of Azeeza Sanni

Also featured in the exhibition are documented performances by Boshnikanko(Nigeria); DodjiEfoui(Togo); Ọlọ́runjedálọ(Nigeria); OmoIna (Nigeria); TalkingDrummers(Nigeria).

Picture courtesy of Reuters

If you are in Lagos, Nigeria be sure to visit the exhibition before the closing on 12 November 2022!


Azeeza Sanni is the General Manager of Art News Africa. She is a graduate of Middlesex University of Mauritius & Monash South Africa. You can reach her with information/requests on mail@artnewsafrica.com.

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