Naija in lights: unique perspectives on the elections in Nigeria
From 22 January to 2 February 2024, an exhibition at the headquarters of France Médias Monde in Paris sheds light on the 2023 elections in Nigeria through the lens of ten photojournalists.
A brainchild of Sophie Bouillon – journalist, editorial director of RFI in Haoussa and co-founder of the StoryMi Academy – the Naija in lights project, funded by CFI, boosted the skills of ten young photojournalists over the course of a year. Those young people were self-taught and had never previously received any technical training or support from professional photojournalists.
In addition to the “traditional” training modules and personal development exercises, an individual reporting project was carried out in a complex and uncertain context: that of the February and March 2023 general elections in Nigeria. With the supervision of two mentors, Andrew Esiebo and Fati Abubakar, the photojournalists were able to find an original coverage angle to present their personal view of that electoral period, while documenting that crucial moment in the country’s collective life.
This exhibition of the most beautiful snaps taken tells the story of a people who, under all circumstances, demonstrate an unwavering and admirable capacity for adaptation, creativity and energy.
The ten photojournalists whose work is exhibited are:
Jean-Fidele Ananou Ebenezer
Lucy Ladidi Ateko
Despite all the difficulties faced, participants of Naija in lights set themselves a mission to document this key episode in Nigeria's history, capturing in their photos the difficulties, hopes, pains and disillusions generated by this election. All stated that they wanted to help to "archive people's memories and the national collective memory," too often erased in this enormous country of some 220 million inhabitants.