LAGOS STUDIO ARCHIVES




 

 

 

Lagos Studio Archives is an on-going artistic research and preservation project by artists Karl Ohiri (UK/NIG) and Riikka Kassinen (FIN/UK) 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 many archives were being destroyed, discarded and stored away in humid conditions 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 mega-city. This commercial transition led to many archives being abandoned and left to deteriorate in humid conditions. Working with local photographers he started acquiring the endangered negatives over a number of years in an attempt to ensure that this precious cultural heritage was not lost over time.

Through the manifestation of appropriated works, curated exhibitions and publications Lagos Studio Archives explores the complex relationship between ownership, authorship and intended context by presenting the imagery of a generation of photographers that captured the style, humour and aspirations of everyday Lagosians. The archive has become a source to unearth, reimagine and reconfigure the fragments of a rich visual history that documents Africa's most populous city, whilst further expanding dialogues around West African photography, culture and the legacies of the diaspora.

Supported by