Photographer Chris Saunders documents his personal experience of participating in LagosPhoto 2015
Nataal contributing photographer Chris Saunders was selected to show his latest body of work, which hails the Pantsula culture of South Africa, at LagosPhoto 2015. Now in its sixth year, Nigeria’s foremost international festival of contemporary African photography is a month-long event taking in exhibitions, workshops, talks and outdoor installations and this year welcomed Spanish photographer Cristina de Middel to curate its overarching theme, Designing Futures.
Saunders travelled from his native Johannesburg to Lagos in late October for the festival’s opening and documented his experiences in this visual diary for Nataal. Of his time, Saunders says:
“I had memories of the madness, traffic and nightlife of Lagos from my first trip in 2010 for the MTV Music Awards with Dazed&Confused magazine. This time however, I was here to exhibit at one of Africa’s premier photographic festivals alongside respected photographers from around the world. I was nervous and pleasantly surprised. My work was part of the opening night exhibition at the Eko Hotel & Suites, which went down with a bang.
“I only had five days to make the most of my time in this incredible, metropolitan city. Highlights included having a heavily armed officer stand guard in front of my exhibited images, catching a mugger downtown while photographers Lorenzo Vitturi and Owise Abuzaid ventured into a market and exploring Yaba Tech University campus where this year’s POPCAP’ 15 exhibition took place.
“I also loved the immense visual overload of a city that is home to over 20 million people. It’s impossible to fully capture in one series of images but what I can offer is a small snippet into my personal experience. All in all, this city is real! It was incredible to be surrounded by both the immense energy of the other exhibiting photographers and the team from LagosPhoto as well as the friendly people I met every day on the street.”