Thanks to the Goethe-Institut program Moving Africa I was selected by my regional Goethe Zentrum Kampala to travel to Lagos Nigeria for the annual Lagos Photo Festival.
Lagos from the first day to the last was a whirlwind trip, full of quirky stories and inspiring moments. From the experience of having my camera confiscated at the airport to the live band playing amazing reggae tunes right outside my hotel room. My first impression was that this trip was going to be special.
Our first exhibition during the festival was hosted at Goethe-Institut offices in Lagos, it was collection of images by amateur female photographers, following their participation in a photography workshop and mentor-ship. We met a number of the young aspiring photographers and got to talk about their work.
Later that evening the opening ceremony of the festival, showcasing a collection of images taken around the continent took place.
My highlight from Lagos photo festival was getting to spend time within the week with seasoned photographers exhibiting at the festival and young aspiring photographers. Within the workshops and portfolio reviews, I was able to gain some perspective of the challenges photographers face working in Africa, as well as to learn a lot about how to build visibility as an artist.
I also have to thank Goethe-Institut in Nigeria for going the extra mile and arranging that we spend time exploring Lagos, they arranged for us to be hosted by Mr. Mudi Yahaya who is a seasoned photographer with an amazing body of work and career shooting stories all over Nigeria. He was a great guide to the city, its mystical stories, urban legends and culture. He tried to cater for every photographer's genre in our group, so from Skyscraper roof tops and private tours of the National theater to trips into the market and mosques, taking all sorts of 2 to 3 wheeled public transport.
I enjoyed the festival very much and meeting the Nigerian art community was a pleasure, I also learned some great differences in the culture of photography and art between East and West Africa, which i hope will lead to a collaboration or a cross border exchange/exhibition sometime soon. And I have developed an infatuation with one photographer and two painters from Nigeria I hope to someday be able to afford pieces from.