Lagos Studio Archives is an on-going preservation project by Karl Ohiri & Riikka Kassinen consisting of thousands of film negatives documenting Lagos studio portraiture and vernacular photography from the 1970s to post millennium.

The project started in 2015 when Ohiri discovered that archives were being burnt, destroyed and discarded by a previous generation of photographers who were part of a shift from analogue to digital photography, many opting for the speed and convenience of a digital workflow to meet the demands of a fast paced megacity.

This commercial transition led to many archives being abandoned and left to deteriorate in humid conditions. The artist started acquiring the negatives in an attempt to ensure that this precious cultural history was not erased over time.

Both artists see the archive as an opportunity to showcase the talent of a generation of photographers that captured the style, humour and aspirations of everyday Lagosians, whose works would have gone unnoticed to the art world without their timely intervention.

The archive has become a source for them to unearth, reconfigure and present the fragments of a visual social history that was nearly forgotten, exploring the complex relationship between ownership, authorship and intended context.

The archives first exhibition is scheduled for 2023 and will present the earliest black and white images in the collection by the artist couple Abi Morocco Photos.