Osaze Efe

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Framing RightsNigeria

Osaze Efe is an international photo festival curator based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is interested in exploring new representations of visual engagement and expanding artistic conversations about social change. As an art festival curator, he has provided a juncture for reflection, inspiration, and interaction on the power of photography for developmental advocacy and advancement.

Osaze fosters a creative space for artists, cultural promoters, and art entrepreneurs to network, create, and amplify stories worth hearing. Since 2017, the Abuja Photo Festival has worked with over 3000 young people, unlocking their creative energy to document critical narratives while providing mentorship that supports their creative career journey. In 2021, Osaze launched the project “En Route,” which offers a fresh view on how migration is impacting the Nigerian cultural landscape.

Osaze Efe’s primary interest is in cultural dynamism and its role in sustainable development for society. He has served as an art for development consultant on different projects with UNDP, UNESCO, World Intellectual Property Organization, Embassies of China, Spain and Sweden in Nigeria. Osaze Efe is married and lives in Abuja.

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Framing Rights

Osaze's project was a program that leveraged the tool of visual storytelling (photography and short films) to heighten human rights awareness among citizens, the government and other stakeholders. The program reached new audiences to visually empower victims of human rights abuses to speak up and empower the public to take a stand at the instance of violations of the rights of others in their immediate communities. Through this project, Osaze trained four photographers and a short film maker in telling human rights stories by hosting a two-day training on ethical visual documentation of human rights narratives. After the training, the visual storytellers set out to document various stories in line with the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. The art that was produced by the participants was then used as an educational tool to raise awareness about human rights issues in schools. The participants also took part in the Abuja photo festival in October, which gave them a chance to address a larger audience about their work and the Human Rights mission of the project. One participant reflected that the workshop was "an eye-opener for me…it has inspired [me to] be deliberate about how I tell stories using my lens.”

Osaze also moderated the IVLP Impact Awards Alumni Discussion Series panel on “Advancing Human Rights for Marginalized Communities” which you can read more about here.

"Having successfully completed the 'Framing Rights' workshop, I can attest to its transformative power. This immersive experience brought together passionate photographers like me, providing expert guidance, hands-on practice, and a platform to amplify human rights issues through the lens of our cameras. It's not just a workshop; it's a journey of empowerment and advocacy, and I'm proud to be a part of it…I envision my photography as a tool for empowerment, illuminating the significance of clean water access and fostering awareness and support for the fundamental human right to water." - Participating Artist

2022 IVLP Impact Award Project: Drive for Democracy

This project focused on building voter engagement in Nigeria. The project used visual storytelling to increase public participation in the electoral process. Using photography as a communication tool, the project heightened citizen awareness of their role in strengthening democracy. This was accomplished through a masterclass where 10 photojournalists/documentary photographers were selected from among over 100 applicants, and were mobilized to create images encouraging voters to get involved in the electoral process. The photos were displayed publicly in high traffic areas around Nigeria’s capital city Abuja, and encouraged viewers to vote.  

This project is important because it harnessed the power of photographs to articulate critical visual messages about the importance of democracy. The project’s aim was to increase public awareness about the power of the vote to bring voters to the polls. Because voter apathy is detrimental to sustaining democratic governance, a sustained campaign is vital. 


"This program was an eye opener for me. I did not know I can creatively contribute to democracy development." - 2022 Masterclass Participant

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Osaze was a participant in the IVLP Project: Promoting Social Change through the Arts, organized by the U.S. Department of State and Mississippi Consortium for International Development in 2022. Osaze was a participant in the IVLP Project: Promoting Social Change through the Arts, organized by the U.S. Department of State and by FHI 360 in 2021.

Osaze's exchange experience led to the development of his IVLP Impact Award Project: "The locations I visited and people I met inspired me to stay resilient in my practice as an artist and art promoter, to speak up [to create] more equality and justice using the arts."

U.S. Communities Visited in 2022

Colorado Springs, CO; Washington, DC; New York City, NY

U.S. Communities Visited Virtually in 2021

Washington, DC; Orlando, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Albuquerque, NM; Santa Fe, NM

"My IVLP experience broadened my mind about how the power of visual arts can shape society for good." - Osaze Efe

Country: Nigeria

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