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 when Ohiri discovered that archives were being burnt, destroyed and discarded by a 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. Working with local photographers the artist started acquiring the disccarded negatives in an attempt to ensure that this precious cultural heritage was not erased over time.

The archives mission is to collect, preserve and present the imagery 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 intervention.

The archive has become a source to unearth, reconfigure and present the fragments of a rich visual history that documents Africa's most populous city. Through the manifestation of appropriated works, publications and curated exhibitions - Lagos Studio Archives explores the complex relationship between ownership, authorship and intended context, whilst further expanding dialogues around West African photography, culture and the legacies of the diaspora.