Photos

19th Century Lagos Through A Digitally Restored Lens

'A Slice Of Lagos' from British-Nigerian artist Sesu Tilley-Gyado re-imagines 19th Century Lagos through a digitally restored lens.

All images provided by Sesu Tilley-Gyado


A Slice Of Lagos, which opened last week at the Rook and Raven Gallery in London, is a new exhibit that explores a multicultural 19th century Lagos through reconstructed archival photography and film. The artist and curator behind the project is Sesu Tilley-Gyado, the British-Nigerian multi-medium artist and 2013 Winner of the National Art Competition in Nigeria. In the past she's worked with text, poetry, graphics, design, film, music, prints, and installation, specifically with the intent of resurrecting oft-supressed African histories. According to Tilley-Gyado, 19th century Lagos was a rich melting pot for four cultures: the Yoruba, the Brazilians-Cubans, the Creoles, and the British. "I wanted to tell the story of Lagos’ multicultural origins," she says. "Its melting pot 19th Century where Yoruba kings fought for the throne, British colonials came to stay and tens of thousands of Brazilians, Cubans, and Creoles (descendants of slaves) ‘returned’ to Lagos." The slice of 19th century Lagos that Tilley-Gyado chose to tell was a particularly colorful and modernized one. In a series of fifteen portraits of 19th century Lagosians, the team warped the original black and white archival photos into digitally restored and colorized images given a modern facelift on fictionalized TIME magazine covers. Along with these portraits, the exhibit features a film (A Slice Of Lagos, directed by Francesca Tilley-Gyado, production by Bolaji Kekere- Ekun) commissioned specifically for the exhibit. Explains Tilley-Gyado:

“Most people expect to see the past in black and white and thus imagine it thus. Yet I felt the colourful, cultural melting pot of historic Lagos had to be done in colour... Black and white didn’t quite capture the excitement that I felt when hearing and telling the stories of vibrant 19th Century Lagos. We were delighted and shocked to see how immediate the past became with colour added to black and white photographic images, and modern verve added to historic storytelling. Here, I have re-imaged / re- imagined a past that is present, and together with an amazing team, show a colourful Slice of Lagos.” –Sesu Tilley-Gyado

A Slice Of Lagos is on display at the Rook and Raven Gallery (7 Rathbone Place, W1, London) through the 10th of September. Peep a selection of the digitally restored portraits in the gallery above.

Interview

This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

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