Mapping Black Box
BLACK BOX was founded in 2006, following a photography workshop on the theme ‘Football World’ led by Nigerian/Berlin-based photographer Mr Akinbode Akinyibi at the Goethe Institute Lagos.
Made up initially of 13 photographers of varied age and education, Black Box is a melting pot of temperaments and energy. Over the five years since the group was created, members have engaged in many artistic activities, either individually or in collaboration with groups. The diversity of perceptions and interpretations, and the understanding artistic experiences provide, has been the bedrock for the emerging consciousness of photography in Africa.
Members’ approach to work is flexible, as the collective’s principles afford each the freedom to create, individually and collectively. Photographers active within the group are: Uche Okpa-Iroha, Andrew Esiebo, Charles Ologeh, Adeniyi Odeleye, Abraham Oghobase, Mary Kassim, Chiemela Azurunwa, Charles Okereke, and new member Chidinma Nnorom.
UCHE OKPA-IROHA was a founding member of the Trans-African photography project, INVISIBLE BORDERS, a road trip platform telling African stories the African way. His work has been shown at the PHOTO BIENNALE “Recontres De Bamako 2009”, and he won the SEYDOU KEITA AWARD in Mali. Uche is currently a scholar at Rijksakedemie, in the Netherlands.
ANDREW ESIEBO is internationally known with his essayist style of reportage which questions issues that seemingly could be seen contrary to society and abhorred, but which form an intrinsic part of society, and cannot be denied nor ignored. Andrew’s work has been included in the 2009 BAMAKO PHOTO BIENNALE, and exhibited nationally and internationally.
CHARLES OLOGEH‘s work has a certain ethereal quality. This sense of timelessness is his favoured mode of expression, with a dose of theatrics added that give his works a compelling appeal. Ologeh runs a studio in the mainland of Lagos.
CHARLES OKEREKE’s eclectic approach creates a vibrancy and variety of concepts which constantly blur but persist, most times dictated by the images themselves as he seeks to interpret these vibrations and simultaneously bring clarity to the perceptions. He is also a founding member of the Trans-African photographic platform INVISIBLE BORDERS, and his work has appeared nationally and internationally.
As a collective, BLACK BOX extends her hand to other collectives on a mutual exchange and working capacity, in every available approach or genre of photography, which could be mutually beneficial. This synergy, in truth, is what collectives represent and should be fostered: only on such basis do we thrive, and are thus sustained.