At the Lagos Fringe Festival, which celebrates five this year, industry heavyweights including Olu Jacobs, Joke Silva, and Ifeoma Fafunwa will be honoured with others in recognition of their contributions to the arts over the years. It’s been five years of curating experiences, creating opportunities, expanding artists’ communities, developing skills, and building connections for the creative industry in Nigeria.
Another activity to look out for will be the highly successful musical play titled Ada the Country musical theatre that features stars such as Joke Silva, Bambam of Big Brother Naija fame, Chigurl and Kate Henshaw. There will also be other highly interactive events that will provide artistic and cultural engagements like workshops, joint performances, film and media events as well as exhibitions, including opportunities of building connections with global creatives through peer-to-peer training to develop emerging artists and improve the professional ones. Also, the CEO of Brighton Fringe Festival, UK, Julian Caddy will be on hand for the masterclasses.
Lagos Fringe was launched in 2018 as an open access multidisciplinary arts festival and a not-for-profit ongoing development initiative committed to improving the livelihoods of artists as well as finding new voices in the Lagos creative scene. The main festival is scheduled to hold from November 22- 27, 2022 from 9am to 11pm each day. Venue for all these events will be the repurposed spaces for the arts at the Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos.
Festival Director, Mr. Kenneth Uphopho, said, “The theme for this year is New Narratives. It’s inspired by the need to supervise the interpretation of how things work in the creative space in Nigeria. We also want to continue developing new skills, new connections and new collaborative work spaces. During the festival week, there will be opportunities for exchange and empowerment programmes with established facilitators from the US, UK, Germany and Nigeria. Special focus on music, theatre, writing, film, dance and theatre. These trainings will be delivered digitally or in person.
“We wish to re-strategize the engagement with our audience and reframe conversations in a positive way to create more resilient and inclusive artist communities. A programme of awareness-raising activities and events to engage and maintain the participation of stakeholders is all we are working towards. We have a collaborative project with our partner Good Cop Bad Cop in Wales, tagged ,Glimpses from the Edges, that is fully supported by the British Council under the Culture Connect initiative. We will be exhibiting the outcomes from the project at the Lagos Fringe and in Wales. We will also bring facilitators such as MI Abaga, music maestro, Cobhams Asuquo, wordsmiths, Efe Paul and Titilope Sonuga, as well as other participants together to engage in thematic working forums and workshop discussions to highlight key issues as well as examples of transferable practice. These sessions will offer facilitated debates and reflections on the key messages emerging from the theme this year.”
Uphopho further stated that Lagos Fringe has become a hub for creatives to express themselves better, adding, “At a time like this, with the steady rise in unemployment amongst the youth and creatives, it has become important that creatives find a sense of place and belonging. The Lagos Fringe is a hub offering a safe space that brings all creatives from the cultural, academia and tech industries together. Lagos Fringe will continue holding periodic training prior to and during the festival every year to produce a wide range of impact including creative start-up ventures, jobs, new content/products and services, funding opportunities, talent development, informal education and engagements, training, research and development. In addition to the above, Lagos Fringe also creates excellent opportunities for networking and establishing sustainable networks of partner organisations.”
According to the Programes Director, Tope Sanni, “We are super excited and looking forward to celebrating all the impact that we have made all these years. This 6-day event will bring together key actors from across Nigeria to Lagos local professionals, curators, venue owners, film makers and theatre enthusiasts. Over 200 combined delegates composed of creatives students, senior authorities (those managing relevant national and regional agencies in the arts), as well as social partners, youth representatives and employment services providers will attend the event. They will present work/exhibitions and experience illustrative practices as well as new developments in the areas of audience development and repurposing of spaces.”
Lagos Fringe @5 is being produced in collaboration with Pawstudios Africa, Freedom Park, Brighton Fringe UK, Goethe Institut Nigeria, Total Consult, NANTAP Lagos, Women in the Arts Festival, British Council Nigeria, A Taste of Theatre USA, Amstel Malta, Doyenne Circle and GIZ, the Nigerian German Resource Centre.