Photos
Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

This Is What Happens When You Strip Lagos of Its Vibrant Color

"Monochrome Lagos," an ongoing project of photographer Logor Oluwamuyiwa, challenges us to see his buzzing city in a different light.

Logor Oluwamuyiwa completely strips a place of its color. The photographer's ongoing project, Monochrome Lagos, forces the viewer to pay close attention to the city's details in the absence of a critical component.

His visual diary that he began in 2013 is a study of the very soul of Lagos—and it's refreshing and raw.
He weaves in and out of his city's streets, capturing its edifices, people and everyday occurrences. His poignant point of view shines through his work, as well as his passion as he subtly dissects Lagos' social divide and identity.


In color, the city heightens the senses; but in black, white and gray, it offers him endless narratives. His photographs are supported by prose often written "spur of the moment" directly from his "stream of consciousness." Without formal training in the field of photography, Logor teaches himself on the job as he produces his work.

Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Where Nigeria's most populous city is frenetic, dynamic, and home to a kaleidoscope of jarring colors, Oluwamuyiwa asks his viewer to connect with it through lines, patterns, forms and portraits. "It's a question, 'What if we tried this?' With a very specific curation of lines, patterns, forms," he ponders. "If you reduce the colors, will you be able to see the lines and forms and appreciate the patterns?"

Oluwamuyiwa wants to spark new conversations, shock and inspire through his work. "How can I observe this human carnival around me and take away from it and turn it back to the world? I want to use myself as a conduit between observing the world and responding the world with my profession," he says. "That's my philosophy."

His "pseudo-curriculum" is the work of famous street photographers: Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand and Eugene Atget. He sees Lagos like they surveyed New York City and Paris.

Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Oluwamuyiwa says he's armed with a social media account, a DSLR camera, and a website he's using to create an archive he hopes will culminate in 10 years. It will serve as a way to track his city's ever changing make-up. It's very evident the longevity he seeks is possible as people resonate with his work. It's been on display in his city's Rele Gallery, Omenka Gallery, photo festivals, and Open Range Exhibition. Abroad, he's been featured in the Beaux Arts Festival; cities like Cape Town, London and Hamburg. Oluwamuyiwa has his sights set on showing in museums in the U.S. and other African nations like Mali's photo festival. Already having filled a couple hard drives full of photography, he will surely conquer "every photography conversation in the world."

To answer his question, Lagos does not lose its energy when one tones down its color. I would argue it is further amplified.

Take a look at a selection of Logor Oluwamuyiwa's photos from his Monochrome Lagos project below.

Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Photo by Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Interview

Malian Rapper Ami Yerewolo Rises Against All Odds

Ami Yerewolo reflects on her hard-won rap career, new album AY and why she insists on creating support spaces for young female rappers in Mali and beyond.

"No one is a prophet in his or her own land!" This is an accurate way to describe Ami Yerewolo's career to a tee. The Malian rapper's music has not always been popular in her home country, where female rappers are generally frowned upon. Instead, it has taken off abroad. Yerewolo's upbeat sound mixes traditional Malian elements with fast drums, contemporary beats and significant lyrics that compel listeners to reflect on life — all of which makes her songs carry a universal appeal. Her new album, AY (titled after the rapper's initials) has just been released by the label Othentiq.

Yerewolo shares her frank thoughts below...

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