Art for Humanity Foundation organises the fifth Abuja Photo Festival in Nigeria

Photography is very much important for the development of society as it serve as a veritable tool of communication that helps to diffuse information through the visual capture and expression of critical social encounters as they really are. A photograph is an evidential document of facts about cultures, societies, histories and experiences. In Nigeria, there is an existential need to use the tool of visual storytelling to bring the myriad socio-cultural issues to the fore for greater public awareness, appreciation and to mobilize citizens’ actions towards positive change. Several creative young Nigerians are seeking for platforms through which to acquire and hone visual storytelling skills in other to lend their voice against the prevailing social challenges by being able to tell important stories that matter within local communities to global audience. Abuja Photo Festival exists as a platform for these young artists to make their voices heard.

© Temidayo Johnson
Temidayo Johnson is the Lead Producer for Kingandjohnson Media.
“I’d call my job Visual and Content Direction, focused on Fashion, Lifestyle, Conceptual and Product images.”

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In the last 5 years, the weeklong Festival has through its various programs and activities empowered over 1,000 young visual creatives from across Nigeria.

The primary goal of the festival is to harness artistic energy of young people to initiate conversation and actions towards social change. This is done by giving opportunity to them to gain broader understanding through activities such as master class trainings, workshops, mentorship and image review sessions.

The festival benefits young people primarily by exposing them to different learning opportunities to build capacity and amplify their works through thematic photo exhibitions and Artist Talks. These opportunities help them gain the necessary confidence and ability to visually highlight critical development issues that are rarely talked about in the mainstream media. The 5th edition of the festival holds between 26th and 30th October 2021.

Website Abuja Photo Festival

© Osaze Efe
Osaze Efe is the Lead Creative for Abuja Photo Festival and Art for Humanity Foundation.

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ACTIVITIES

 

Thematic Photo Exhibitions: Early Years Artists get the chance to showcase their works in the weeklong indoor and outdoor photo exhibitions. We do this by making Call for Entries for artists to submit body of works/projects on thematic stories such as Migration, Gender Based Violence, Human Rights, Persons Living with Disabilities, COVID-19 Pandemic etc. This year, we will be curating outdoor exhibitions in strategic public places within the city as part of the plan to bring visual encounters to a new range of audience and reclaim public spaces for the arts.  

Artists and Exhibition Tour: We will collaborate with Secondary schools within Abuja to host exhibitions where artists will showcase their work to young audience and engage in artistic dialogues with the students as way of increasing the awareness of photography for social change among young people.  

Practical-based Master Classes: Hands-on master classes to be organized. The classes will focus on various technical aspects of photography such as Composition, Lighting, Color Grading, Photo Editing and non-technical aspects such as Portfolio Building, Branding, Inventory Management and Financial Literacy. Each class will provide participants with a work-through process and in-depth understanding of how to visually tell stories to make the intended impact and as well as how to build a sustainable career as photographer. Expected experts for the class include indigenous artists such as Andrew Esiebo, George Osodi, Uche James Iroha, Aisha Augie-Kuta, TY Bello and Obi Somto.

Sisters Art: This is an intervention aimed at bridging gender gap in the creative space as well as to encourage more women participation in visual artistic expressions. The all-girls session provides young female creative an inclusive opportunity and safe space where they are encouraged to have close conversation with established female photographers on how to find and strengthen their visual voice.

Seminars: Open seminars to be featured in collaboration with members of the development organizations such as UNDP, Save the Children, Action Aid, Connected Development, Accountability Lab, BudgIT and the government (Ministry of Information and Culture, Ministry of Women Affairs and Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs for example) to explore the role of imageries and storytelling in finding lasting solutions to existing social gaps.  

Portfolio Review: Young artists will have the chance to get feedbacks from experienced photographers about the quality of their work while being provided broader understanding on how to build an effective body of work/portfolio. This session will introduce young artists to the ideas, principles and insight on how to get their work noticed to get commissioned by Photo Editors and Communications experts.

Photo Walks: Photographers will embark to trips to local communities within the FCT to document the everyday life of the people, and images collected are screened by a team of jury to select the most impactful narrative, which will be used to raise funds to support the documented individual(s) or spaces in the local communities.

Click on an image to open the gallery

Abuja Photo Festival

Art for Humanity Foundation


ABOUT ART FOR HUMANITY FOUNDATION

Art for Humanity Foundation is a not-for-profit organization registered with the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2017. It was founded as a response to harness the creative energy of young people to use the tool of visual storytelling for social change. We exist to fill the gap that calls for the use of photography to amplify the existential realities of everyday citizens and grassroot communities to global audiences. We seek to be a safe space where young people come to learn, network and find the inspiration to create important work worth seeing.  We specifically promote photography to positively alter and stimulate to rethink the way human and societal challenges are seen, appreciated, interpreted and responded to.

In the past 5 years, the Foundation has been able to build pool young talents that is harnessed and connected to economic opportunities where they are commissioned for paid assignments as well introduced to curatorial opportunities within Nigeria and in the United Kingdom.  

Art for Humanity is funded through grants, sponsorships, sales of art works and paid specialized masterclasses.

Through our annual Abuja Photo Festival and other activities, participants enjoy sharing and exchanging knowledge that would trigger sustainable and contextual solution to developmental problems. Since 2017, the organization has hosted the Photo Festival which has received over 5,000 visitors from the artistic community and other parts of the society. The event has served as platform to over 1,000 young creatives, giving them the opportunity to build capacity, learn new creative and business skills and make their visual voice heard on critical social issues through the exhibitions.  The photo festival this year will introduce multi location activities across cities and take exhibitions to public places as way of engaging new audience.

Ensuring the longevity of our ecosystem, activities such as master classes, thematic exhibitions, image reviews, exchange programs and creative forums are employed all year round to deliver a sustained cycle of community content which are both internally and externally relevant whilst having the sustainable development goals in constant focus.

 

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