I tend to refer to myself as a visual addict with no wish for rehab.
Give me an opportunity to experience a new location or culture and you are in effect aiding the drug of my choice.
Maybe the Goethe-Institut had this in mind when they gave me the opportunity to be part of the Moving Africa program and travel to Lagos for the Lagos Photo Festival?
Photography to me is more than just a visual language. It creates and establishes connections; it fulfills my description of freedom and fuels my experience of joy, play, exploration and sharing.
With this in mind I was excited about viewing the diverse work at the festival and getting immersed into the Nigerian culture.
I thought I knew how I would feel but then reality has a resounding way of making instant mashed potatoes of any semi-solid expectations you think you may experience when you travel to a place.
Lagos is eclectic and electric. If she were a lover she would drive you crazy and keep you calm whilst feeding you enough heat to restart your heart and vision.
Lagos’ vibrancy hits you and refuses to let go just as viewing the work by the talented photographers at the festival was. As much as I would love to highlight the individual work, I would have no space. All I can say is the selected images were highly commendable and some of the stories elicited the desire to see even more.
In addition, interacting with the diverse photographers, the passionate discussions plus feedback from the portfolio reviews was excellent.
Lagos gave me much more than I ever anticipated.
For the first time, I can clearly see and understand the beginning foundations of contemporary African photography and my role in it.
I am excited by conceptual photography and the work I can and which I have actually begun to articulate.
Thank you Goethe, Moving Africa and Lagos for helping me reconnect with my voice and start off in a new direction. Before this trip I was stuck. Today, right now, I can honestly say that my vision and my voice have been re-ignited by all the wonderful people I met in Lagos.
Specific thanks that cannot be quantified to Marc Schmactel and Ameka, plus drivers Lazarak and Mustafa of Goethe Lagos.
Mudi Yahaya, an exceptional artist, who freely gave his time and knowledge. And Goethe Nairobi without who the Lagos intervention would not be possible…Thank you Johannes Hossfield and Fransziska.