Lagos Photo Festival

Lagos Photo Festival is an annual photography festival held in Lagos, Nigeria.

In 2018, the festival’s theme was Time Has Gone. It featured work by the Ekopolitan Project’s founder Abosede George and received coverage by Vogue Italia. George created an audio piece which reworks the archives of a court case from the late 1800s in Lagos, Nigeria. Visitors would sit in an audio booth, like the one pictured at left, and listen to the trial and testimonies from the court case Ayebomi vs. Regina.

Recordings

Experience the audio for yourself.

Ajatu

Ajatu

Native of Owu, born c. 1825
Murdered in Lagos after 30 years of enslavement in Brazil, 1871.
Languages: Yoruba, Brazilian Portuguese, unknown

The testimony of Ajatu’s ghost is entirely a product of imagination inspired by the record of a true court case that occurred in Lagos from 1871–1888. The archival documents that let us know about the case were recorded by an anonymous clerk who wrote entirely in English, despite the fact that the parties to the case were unlikely to be English speakers. This project seeks to draw attention to the always present, yet often invisible, translators and recorders who created the colonial archive.

Sources: Justice Research Initiative and Lagos High Court Archives; Susan Rosenfeld, PhD for sharing her copies of the case file with Abosede George.

Shetolu

Shetolu Francisco Gomez

Native of Owu, born c. 1825
Resident in Abeokuta after 30 years of enslavement in Brazil. 1888.
Languages: Yoruba, Brazilian Portuguese, unknown

This testimony is based on a true court case that occurred in Lagos from 1871 - 1888. The archival documents that let us know about the case were recorded by an anonymous clerk who wrote entirely in English, despite the fact that the parties to the case were unlikely to be English speakers. This project seeks to draw attention to the always present, yet often invisible, translators and recorders who created the colonial archive.

Sources: Justice Research Initiative and Lagos High Court Archives; Susan Rosenfeld, PhD for sharing her copies of the case file with Abosede George.

Ayebomi

Ayebomi

Born c. 1835
Native of Owu
Resident in Abeokuta
Languages: Yoruba, unknown

This testimony is based on a true court case that occurred in Lagos from 1871–1888. The archival documents that let us know about the case were recorded by an anonymous clerk who wrote entirely in English, despite the fact that the parties to the case were unlikely to be English speakers. This project seeks to draw attention to the always present, yet often invisible, translators and recorders who created the colonial archive.

Sources: Justice Research Initiative and Lagos High Court Archives; Susan Rosenfeld, PhD for sharing her copies of the case file with Abosede George.

George William Johnson

George William Johnson

Native of Sierra Leone
Clerk in Southern Protectorate of Nigeria and Colony of Lagos for 10 years (c.1888).
Languages: Krio, English, unknown

This testimony is based on a true court case that occurred in Lagos from 1871–1888. The archival documents that let us know about the case were recorded by an anonymous clerk who wrote entirely in English, despite the fact that the parties to the case were unlikely to be English speakers. This project seeks to draw attention to the always present, yet often invisible, translators and recorders who created the colonial archive.

Sources: Justice Research Initiative and Lagos High Court Archives; Susan Rosenfeld, PhD for sharing her copies of the case file with Abosede George.

Ayebomi vs. Regina Trial

Ayebomi vs. Regina

Final Day in Court, 1888
Languages: Yoruba, English (various dialects)

This testimony is based on a true court case that occurred in Lagos from 1871–1888. The archival documents that let us know about the case were recorded by an anonymous clerk who wrote entirely in English, despite the fact that the parties to the case were unlikely to be English speakers. This project seeks to draw attention to the always present, yet often invisible, translators and recorders who created the colonial archive.

Sources: Justice Research Initiative and Lagos High Court Archives; Susan Rosenfeld, PhD for sharing her copies of the case file with Abosede George.