So much goodness this month in Lagos, Nigeria where the LagosPhoto Foundation kicked of its month long celebration of African creativity and photography. This year marks the fifth aniversary of the Lagos photography festival featuring artists and outdoor installations from around the continent.

© Ade Adekola

© Ade Adekola

Staging Reality, Documenting Fiction.

Launched in 2010, LagosPhoto is the first and only international arts festival of photography in Nigeria. In a month long programme, events include exhibitions, workshops, artist presentations, discussions, screenings, and large scale outdoor installations in congested public spaces in Lagos. LagosPhoto aims to provide a platform for the development and education of contemporary photography in Africa by establishing mentorships and cross- cultural collaborations with local and international artists. LagosPhoto presents photography as it is embodied in the exploration of historical and contemporary issues, the promotion of social programmes, and the reclaiming of public spaces. LagosPhoto 2014 features forty photographers spanning twenty one countries.

© Aisha Augie-Kuta

This year’s theme, Staging Reality, Documenting Fiction, examines contemporary photographers working in Africa who negotiate the boundaries and relationships between photography, beliefs, and truths. Incorporating conceptual and performative strategies that expand traditional photographic practice, many contemporary artists working on the continent move beyond the confines of the photojournalistic gaze. These artists produce work that considers the complex social and political concerns that define a new Africa in the twenty-first century, and they explore how the ubiquity of images plays a vital role in how reality is constructed and articulated. Utilizing genres such as staged narratives, performance, appropriation, self-portraiture, and still life, these artists push the temporal and spatial boundaries of the photographic medium. In doing so, Staging Reality, Documenting Fiction considers how these artists imagine different futures and charter fictive worlds, using photography as a catalyst to investigate the changing realities of Africa today.

© Leonce Agboudjelou

©Glenna Gordon