Adolphus Opara is a visual storyteller from Nigeria and currently living in Lagos. He started out in photography by chronicling Nigeria’s rich culture and heritage. His work is induced mainly by close encounters with people and their daily effort to exist amidst obstacles that sometimes define them.
As Adolphus’ career advanced, he delved into more conceptual territories exploring themes around Identity, Belief systems and Climate change.
His long-form documentary photography projects and keen interest in the plight of socially marginalised individuals led to his co-founding of Foundation for Art and Social Integration (FASI) in 2010, through which several photography trainings around Africa have been completed. In 2018 he co-created the Creative Photography Masterclass in visual storytelling (CPM) and have facilitated several photography trainings most recent being an ongoing collaboration with Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability at Harvard University where he is training and mentoring prospective female photographers across Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Ghana.
Before his photography carrier, Adolphus worked at Nimbus Art Centre, Lagos (Nigeria’s premier art auction house) as a curatorial assistant and his first training as a photographer in 2007 was at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism Lagos where he studied Photojournalism. Subsequently he trained as a Multimedia Storyteller with World Press Photo in Accra, Ghana and Lusaka, Zambia respectively. He was also trained as a Documentary Photographer at the NOOR/Nikon Masterclass in documentary photography.
His awards and accolades include; Winner of CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography 2007. Winner of Photo Africa Award, Tarifa Spain 2008. Winner of the AAF/Heineken Art competition 2008 amongst others. He is a nominee of The National Geographic All Roads Masterclass, JOOP Swart Masterclass and a two time nominee of the prestigious Prix Pictet Prize, amongst others.
Opara’s works has been exhibited in; Photo-Africa, Tarifa, Spain. Neil L and Angelica Zander Rudenstine Gallery, Harvard University, USA. Museum fur Vulkerkunde, Vienna, Austria. Tate Modern, London. Bamako Encounters, Mali. Tiwani Contemporary, London. The Guardian gallery, London. Brundyn and Gonsalves, Cape town, South Africa. PHOTO QUAI Biennale, Paris – France. Vorarlberg Museum, Bregenz – Austria. Obscura Festival, Malaysia. Centre for Fine Arts, BOZA – Belgium. Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos and LAGOSPHOTO Festival, Lagos amongst others.
His works have been published in books, magazines, and websites such as Bloomberg TV, Financial Times (FT), Guardian London, PRIVATE magazine, TIMEOUT Nigeria, World Press Photo ENTER, WINGS, Klang Sehen, HIGHLIFE (British airways inflight magazine), John Hopkins University Journal, The New York Times and The ECONIMIST to mention a few.
His Lectures include; Training on Child Right Reporting for Photojournalists at UNICEF Nigeria country office Abuja. The Silent Majority Project (Lagos, Uganda, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire), The Nnlele Institute Lagos, Nigerian. German Centre (GIZ) Lagos, Centre for African and African American Studies at Harvard University, Cambridge USA, Nigerian Institute of Journalism Lagos and Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge USA.
In 2023 he was appointed a collaborator with The West African Cluster of Harvard University’s Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability, a three years research project on Sea level Rise, Coastal Erosion and Urban flooding in the Gulf of Guinea.
His works are included in several notable international public and private art collections amongst which are; The Harvard Museum, Museum fur Vulkerkunde, Austria and Rudenstine Gallery, Cambridge, USA.
Detailed CV is available on request.