Traveling the world freely, without being a subject of scrutiny or suspicion is still – and maybe more than ever – impossible for a large percentage of the world population, because the "the value" of a passport is measured by calculating its "visa-free score" (VFS). Though globally, we often anticipate the same values, fashions, religions and encounter comparable challenges, irrespective of regions and climate zones, we still live in a narrow and immobile world that prevents fluctuating lifestyles and existences outside of the digital space.
A passport entitles the holder to enter and leave a territory. The most important element, the data page, formally claims to certify our identity based on standardized categories of nationality, gender and looks. Yet the options available automatically foster stereotypes in terms of sex, race and credibility. Passports is the theme of the 10th edition of LagosPhoto Festival and it intends to delve into the constraints and prospects of the most important official document a human being owns/ holds.
This year’s edition aims to bring alive, an alternative global environment in which artists of different nationalities are invited to explore options of creating a fluid and permeable world, where nationality, gender and historical imbalances are secondary. Through the course of a decade, the festival has proven to be a space where artists can meet on neutral ground to share ideas, innovation and capacities.
Thus, the jubilee edition especially concentrates on the reciprocal energies the festival has experienced in past years and will open the discussion of how we can create a flexible and more egalitarian world within the existing global restrictions. What are the options of living freely in a world that will be determined by borders?
LagosPhoto invites artists to consider the festival platform as a laboratory for ideas and a safe place for experimenting with open forms of identity, creating new categories of an international passport that allows for diversity. What kind of passport could certify and authorize these overarching values? The 10th edition of LagosPhoto will present artists who are able to find answers or sustainable alternatives and who believe in a versatile world that is not based on utopias but routed in the way we already live.
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