Bronze / 2018 / Portraiture / Culture

Chroma: An Ode to J.D. Okhai Ojeikere

  • Prize
    Bronze in Portraiture/Culture
  • Photographer
    Medina Sage Dugger Magnum Photo Prize Winner2017

Chroma (2017-2018) is series that celebrates women’s hair styles in Nigeria through a fanciful, contemporary lens. The images are inspired by hair color trends in Lagos and by the late Nigerian photographer J.D. Ojeikere, who photographed over a thousand different designs in his lifetime. African hair braiding methods date back thousands of years and Nigerian hair culture is a rich and extensive process which begins in childhood. The methods have been influenced by social/cultural patterns, historical events and globalization. Hairdos range from being purely decorative to conveying more symbolic messages, revealing social status, age and tribal/family traditions. Ojeikere began shooting women's hair following the re-emergence of traditional designs re-popularized following Nigeria’s independence. Prior to de-colonization, wigs and hair straightening had become popular.The availability of colorful extensions and wool in local markets today have led to unique variations on a time honored tradition. Chroma celebrates the art of Nigerian hair culture.

Medina is an art photographer from California, based in Lagos, Nigeria since 2011. Through collage and photography, her work seeks to avoid the conventionally held, bleak perspective of Nigeria and Africa. Instead, she examines narratives both contemporary and timeless such as tradition, modernity, imagination, truth, identity, globalization, fashion, style, performance and space. Her photographic work has been featured in The Smithsonian Magazine, CNN Africa, Dazed, Refinery 29 among other publications and recently exhibited at the Investec Art Fair in Cape Town and Untitled in Miami.