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.

News Brief
Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns (via Getty Images)

New Fela Kuti Reissues & Box Set Are Coming This Year

Partisan Records has shared initial news of upcoming Fela 50th anniversary reissues and a new box set on the way.

Fela Kuti fans have a lot to look forward to this year as Partisan Records (home to Fela's catalog) has announced plans to release special reissues of two 1971 albums: London Scene and Live! With Ginger Baker, the classic album in which Fela and his band Africa '70 where joined by the Cream drummer.

The label has also said they plan to release the fifth installment in their ongoing Fela vinyl reissue box set series, which are handpicked by notable names in the music world. Previous volumes have been curated by Erykah Badu, Questlove, and Brian Eno.

Partisan has also shared that they will also be launching a scholarship program at Fela's alma mater, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in London this year. The label will be sharing more information on all of that exciting Fela Kuti 2021 news soon, so keep and eye out.

In the meantime, Fela Kuti is currently leading the fan vote for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. You can head here to cast a daily ballot for the afrobeat legend. Voting is capped at one ballot per day.

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