Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation and Founder and Director of LagosPhoto Festival
Azu Nwagbogu is the Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), a nonprofit organisation based in Lagos, Nigeria. Established in 2007,African Artists’ Foundation aims to encourage the highest standard of art in Africa through organizing art exhibitions, festivals, competitions, residencies, and workshops with the aim of unearthing and developing talent, creating societal awareness, and providing a platform to express creativity. Nwagbogu was recently elected as the Director of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art in South Africa. The Zeitz MOCAA colloquially referred to as “Africa’s Tate Modern” is a public not-for-profit contemporary art museum with over one hundred galleries dedicated to showcasing contemporary art from Africa and it’s Diaspora. Nwagbogu also serves as Founder and Director of LagosPhoto Festival, an annual international arts festival of photography that brings leading local and international photographers in dialogue with multifaceted stories of Africa.
He is the creator of Art Base Africa, a virtual space to discover and learn about contemporary African Art. Nwagabogu served as a juror for the Dutch Doc, POPCAP Photography Awards, the World press Photo, Prisma Photography Award (2015), Greenpeace Photo Award (2016), New York Times Portfolio Review (2017-18), W. Eugene Smith Award (2018), Photo Espana (2018) and is a regular juror for organizations such as Lensculture and Magnum.
He was nominated as Curator for the Prix Decouverte Rencontres d’Arles 2014, Photoquai 2015, Photolux Festival 2015 and Breda Photo (2018). Other curatorial achievements includes “Dey Your Lane! Lagos Variations” for the Bozar Museum in Bruxelles (2016), “Tear my Bra” for the Rencontres d’Arles (2016), “Samuel Fosso: An African Odyssey” for Photo Espana in Madrid (2018), James Ostrer’s “Johnny Just Came” exhibition for Gazelli Art House, London (2018) and “Colomental” as part of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin program titled “Hello World” which confronted the idea of broadening a Museums scope beyond the Western to incorporate trans-cultural and non-western artistic tendencies, in 2018.
For the past 20 years, he has curated private collections for various prominent individuals and corporate organizations in Africa. In addition, he has continued to show his commitment to building capacity in the artistic community through facilitating the execution of, as well as, instructing artists in various workshops most recently, in the Fast Forward : Women in Photography program in India. Nwagbogu obtained a Masters in Public Health from The University of Cambridge. He lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.