History

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Background

Photography in Nigeria over the last 20 years has gained international recognition, traversing national borders and making its way into mainstream international photography festivals and discourses. With representations at major art events like the Bamako Biennale, Paris Photo, Documenta and the Venice Art Biennale, photographers from Nigeria are measuring up with their contemporaries all over the world.

A large number of young artists use photography as a medium to express their views on contemporary issues that affect the society. Thus, emphasizing photography as a critical tool and language of expression in modern times.

Unfortunately, very few indigenous platforms exist in Nigeria with the objective of educating and promoting emerging artists alongside the eclectic mix of international artists. Recent figures that only about 12 out of 55 institutions in Nigeria offer courses in art and design. Some professional bodies try to identify brilliant artists and promote professionalism in art; however, there are a lot of inconsistencies in the programme curricular that exist in Nigeria.

To meet this need, TNI has collaborated with various organisations to create an enabling environment for education in photography as well as develop several high quality educational mentorships and programmes that give the desired visibility to emerging photographers in Nigeria. Our programmes are also used as platforms to provide training opportunities in art photography to address some of the barriers that exist in the implementation of effective formal educational strategy.

At the crux of each programme is the need to provide a platform for artists to develop their craft and expose their work to a wide audience. Our commitment to discover and develop talent in Nigeria has been designed around a three-tiered mission that reflects the structure of TNI. These programmes are not just interrelated and interdependent but above all augment and complement each other.

2013

March Nlele Institute started with four (4) quarterly workshops at the Goethe Institute Lagos The following workshops were held in 2013: • “Story” – A Photo Essay Workshop • “Tonal Range” – A Black & White Photography workshop • “Dusk-To-Dawn” – A Nature and Landscape Photography Workshop • “Ambiguity of The Face” – A Portrait Photography Workshop
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2014

March • “Are You A Learner Workshop I” July • “Are You A Learner Workshop II” November A Masterclass and Exhibition – Cultural Heritage: Documentary Dissonances. A project in collaboration with the Goethe Institute with the Goethe Institute Nigeria and Berlin-Based Nigerian photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi December • “On Quick Sand We Stand” – A Photography Workshop • Centres of Learning For Photography In Africa (CLPA) is initiated by the Goethe Institut Johannesburg South Africa
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2015

January • “Time Factor//A Factor Of Time” – A Workshop within the framework and theme (Telling Time) of the 10th Bamako Encounters June • Nlele Institue Joins CLPA as a network member • LACOBRIGA, LAGOS, EKO, GIDI – Wetin Be Lagos (An ongoing project initiated by the Nlele Institute) July Inaugural FOTOPARTY Lagos held in collaboration with the Goethe Institut Nigeria and Video Art Network (VAN) Lagos September • Inaugural Lagos OPEN RANGE Project in collaboration with the Goethe Institut Nigeria • Publication of Lagos OPEN RANGE Project catalogue December • The Nlele Institute offsite exhibition at the 10th Bamako Encounters in Mali
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2016

The Nlele Institute records its 16th workshop since inception with four (4) critical text writing workshops

2017

The Nlele Institute records 24 workshops since inauguration March • Critical Text Writing Workshop (Continuation of 2016 series) • Hidden In Between Lines: A Workshop on Copy Rights June • The Studio As The Artists’ Creative Citadel • Navigating A Multiple lane Tunnel (Workshop on how to conceive, start and complete a photography project with the aid of an effective research strategy September • All Angles of A Story (Questioning the Indoctrinated Notion of The Single Story/Single Image) • Photography Matters (The Role of Photography/Image Creation in The Face of Global Change) December Exploring Film/Analogue Photography (History, Theory and practicals)

2018

February The Nlele Institute Mentorship/Mentoring Classes starts October “I Be Person I No Be Number” – An Exhibition comprising of the Nlele Institute mentees at the John & June Allcott Gallery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill USA. The exhibition is a collaboration of the Nlele Institute and the Art and Art History Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill USA

2019

June “Live In Desires” – An exhibition comprising of the Nlele Institute mentees at the Freedom Park. The exhibition focuses on the living spaces and human desires in the mega city of Lagos. The exhibition is a collaboration of the Nlele Institute and the Goethe Institut Nigeria. The project was conceived by the Goethe Institut and operated by the Nlele Institute Lagos. December “Whither I Stand and The Trajectory of Vision” – A Workshop and exhibition offsite organized by the Nlele Institute within the framework of the 12th Bamako Encounters.

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