Photographs today are smoke and mirrors. The month-long festival, LagosPhoto returns for its eighth edition this week, with a timely theme of truth, in relation to the language and function of photography, and also in the context of our tormented times. The conceptual grounding for all this comes from literature—the novels of Flaubert, Orwell, Achebe and Huxley who all, in their own ways, predicted the contemporary situation. How can photography now intervene in this discussion of truth? Interestingly, many of the artists showing at LagosPhoto 2017 have turned the camera back on ourselves, a gesture that is inquisitive and emphatic; truthful or not, these representations probe at our crippled sense of identity, a kind of visual soul-seeking.
Depictions of reality come from everywhere but converge in the present at LagosPhoto: Lorena Ros photographs Nigerian sex workers in Madrid in her highly emotive series Modern Slave Trade; Seye Isikalu, known for intimate, romantic film portraits, presents stills from The Ocean, about the intensity of love; emerging Port-Harcourt based Lubabetu Abubakar documents Nigerians as she sees them; and Bas Losekoot freezes enigmatic urban scenes, his subjects with their backs to his lens.
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