By Prisca Sam-Duru
With the aim to unravel and address constraints and prospects of the most important official document a human being owns- the passport, the 2019 edition of LagosPhoto festival, organised by the African Artists’ Foundation, AAF, is themed ‘Passport’.
This year’s being the 10th anniversary, has its grand opening on Sunday 27th October, 2019 at the Federal Government Press Liaison Office, Broad Street, Lagos.
‘Passport’ brings alive an alternative global environment in which artists of different nationalities are invited to explore options of creating a fluid and permeable world where nationality, gender and historical imbalances are secondary. It therefore, aims to sensitise everyone on the issues around identity and migration with a view to addressing issues of discrimination.
For a decade of showcasing best of Photography by artists across the globe, LagosPhoto prides itself as the first ever photography festival in the continent which affords us the opportunity to tell our own story, shape our history and be what we want to be.
The 2019 LagosPhoto festival which is curated by Maria Pia Bernardoni, has Azu Nwagbogu as Lead curator; Dr Charlotte Langhorst (curator), and a host of curatorial assistants, ends on November 3rd, 2019. It features about 50 exhibiting artists, and a repertoire of activities; music, mentorship workshops for women which aim to encourage more women involvement in photography as a career; dance, workshops, panel discussions, spoken Word, and much more.
Within the duration of the festival, Lagosians will be confronted by a very massive installation by Gaelen Pinnock from South Africa, at Falomo Bridge. This correlates with one of the main purposes of LagosPhoto- to take art to the public. Pinnock’s installation is just one out of the very many outdoor installations through which ‘Passport’ is examined during the photography fiesta.
In addition to the main venue where the grand opening takes place, indoor satellite venues include; AAF headquarters, Victoria Island, Lagos; Red Door Gallery, Lagos; Mike Adenuga Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos; Moneda Investment Ltd, Lagos and Nimbus Gallery, Ikoyi Lagos.
AAF Director, Mr Azu Nwagbogu who spoke at a press conference to usher in programmes lined up for the festival, said that through the course of a decade, the festival has proven to be a space where artists can meet on neutral ground to share ideas, innovation and capacities. The jubilee edition of the festival he noted, especially concentrates on the reciprocal energies the festival has experienced in the past years and will open the discussion of how we can create a flexible and more egalitarian world within the existing global restrictions.
He pointed out that people underestimate the importance of history in Africa which is why LagosPhoto tries as much as possible to showcase reality using photography, stressing that “We must be proud of who we are and what we do.”
On how AAF has managed to sustain the festival till date, Nwagbogu explained that it is its relevance as a tool that offers Africans the power to control the destiny of the contemporary reality using photography, emphasising that it has provided a platform that hosts the world while engaging and promoting are culture, art, etc.