Photography, belief and truth merge at LagosPhoto

How do unshakable conviction, truth and photography interact? The fifth edition of Nigeria's influential photography festival currently presents the work of forty photographers from Africa and the rest of the world. The motto: ‘Staging Reality, Documenting Fiction.’

Allowing diverse disciplines such as conceptual art, installation and theatre, the creators explore the limits that traditionally define photo-journalism. The results are gripping and often witty. The work of the Guinean- Swiss photographer Namsa Leuba, for example, breathes African elements - in outfit, objects and animals - which in combination are completely over the top, thus forming a burlesque play on an old and tired image of Africa. All elements in the work exist in real life, but together they create a fictional reality - and provoke all the questions with which slowly dying clichés and stereotypes must be met.

The renewal many African countries are undergoing comes with complex social and political tensions. How do the artists see these developments? How do images influence what happens? Lagos Photo 2014’s attractive cocktail of photography, performing arts, narrative and still life makes us see, feel and hear. As a result, an often static representation of a multifaceted, multidimensional African reality is shaken loose. It ends up refreshing that very reality.

Lagos Photo sprawls across several locations in the city, storming numerous public spaces for the first time this year. Can be seen until November 26th.

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Namsa Leuba
Namsa Leuba, from the series Cocktail, 2011. Courtesy of the artist and LagosPhoto.

Dillon Marsh
Dillon Marsh, from the series Invasive Species. Courtesy of the arist.

Ade Adekola
Ade Adekola, from the series Egungun, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and LagosPhoto.

Nicolas Henry
Nicolas Henry, from the series Tales from the World, ongoing. Courtesy of the artist and LagosPhoto.

Pierre-Christophe Gam
Pierre-Christophe Gam, from the series The Affogbolos, 2014. Courtesy of the artist and LagosPhotos.

Jide Okukaya
Jide Okukaya, from the series Turn It up!, 2013-2014. Courtesy of the artist.

Credits cover photo: Jide Okdukoya, from the series Turn it Up!, 2013-2104. Courtesy of the artist.

Photo impression LagosPhoto Festival 2014 Grand Opening

Grand opening
Grand opening LagosPhoto Festival