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Photos: Courageous Self-Portraits In Lagos

Delphine Fawundu led a group of 5 burgeoning female Nigerian photographers as a part of her artist residency at the African Artist Foundation in Lagos.


*Jenevieve Aken

Delphine Fawundu led a group of 5 burgeoning female Nigerian photographers in a 3-day self-portrait workshop this past August 8-10. The workshop was a part of Fawundu's artist residency at the African Artist Foundation in Lagos, Nigeria. She began the workshop by introducing and exploring the self portraiture of other women photographers like Renee Cox, Mfon Essien, Helen Amouzou and Majida Khattari as well as her own work. These examples proved to be perfect inspiration for the women in the workshop as it sparked their creative eye and they set out to create their own projects.

*Jenevieve Aken

*Jennifer Ethagbe

The workshop concluded with the completion of each woman's individual photo-story. Jenevieve Aken's project entitled "Spotlight on Low Cut" explores her sexuality as a model. her images are bold, monochromatic and angular--all feature Jenevieve's striking gaze and some of the most intriguing feature Jenevieve posing nude. Jennifer Ethagbe's project reflects the many sides of herself and expresses her "desire to be more courageous." Lanre Fawehinmi's project played with space, walls and angles to evoke the feeling of hiding--her use of shadow particularly highlighted this feeling and her execution makes it hard to believe that at the time of the workshop she had only been practicing photography for 3 weeks. Deola Gold's project, titled "Evolving," was inspired by the saying "those who dance are thought insane by those who cannot hear the music." Her photos were highly theatrical--she used duplication and filters to enhance her shots. All of her photos were taken in only 10 seconds using a speed light and a tripod giving many of her photos a blurred explosion effect - she was the only photographer to utilize text in her images. Omoligho Udenta's project explores the multiple roles that she takes on in life as a mother, wife and worker living in her environment. Udenta was the only photographer in the workshop to photograph an object in representation of herself--she put together four tonal images of a baptismal gown to symbolize herself. She was also the only photographer to include another person in her images--in two photographs she appears with her son--a profound choice in that her son is, in reality a recreation of herself.

*Deola Gold

*Omoligho Udenta

*Lanre Fawehinmi

To see all of the photos from the workshop and to learn more about the project click here.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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