Exhibitions and programme announced

Exhibitions and programme announced

Rencontres de Bamako – African Biennale of Photography

Mimi Cherono Ng’ok, Do You Miss Me? Sometimes, Not Always, 2015. Photograph. Courtesy the artist.

October 24, 2015

10th Bamako Encounters, African Biennale of Photography:
Telling Time

31 October–31 December 2015


The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Craft in Mali and the Institut français are pleased to announce the exhibitions and programme of the 10th Bamako Encounters, African Biennale of Photography. 

In addition to the central international exhibition Telling Time, which features the work of 26 photographers and 13 video artists from across Africa and the Diaspora, including special homage presentations of Malian artist Bakary Diallo and South African artist Thabiso Sekgala, the biennale offers an ambitious programme of monographic and thematic exhibitions.

Through monographic exhibitions, the biennale presents a filmic work by South African artist William Kentridge that mediates on time and transmission of knowledge; works by Syrian/Armenian artist Hrair Sarkissian, whose videos and photography explore experiences of displacement, history and memory; and a survey of work by the Nigerian photographer J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, which chronicles the visual representation of post-colonial subjectivity and nationalism in Nigeria. The “Lusophone Focus” series is anchored by a monographic exhibition of Brazilian artist Ayrson Heráclito, whose powerful performances, video, and photography work offers incisive investigations of the African presence in Brazil. This programme includes the film exhibition Ilha de São Jorge, curated by Beyond Entropy Africa, and a participatory art project by Lanchonete.org (consisting of creatives Todd Lanier Lester, Thiago Correia Gonçalves, and Jaime Lauriano) that uses food and photography to question the intertwined cultural histories of Brazil and West Africa. 

The biennale’s thematic exhibitions Tu M’aimes, Against Time: The Tierney Fellowship Project, To The Future and Back and 1384 Days Wide similarly emphasize questions of temporality and storytelling through explorations of the body, democracy, and politics across geographic and social contexts. 

The problem of local engagement challenges the staging and sustainability of biennales across the world, and offers an important context for the curators’ response to the cultural setbacks Mali has experienced following threats to the country’s political sovereignty since 2012. Through its “Mali Focus” programme, the curatorial team critically examines the biennale’s 20-year history through a presentation of archival documents and objects in the exhibition [Re]generations, while the “Mali Jaw project consists of 10 mini-exhibitions across Bamako that present the archives of photography studios within their immediate communities. The exhibition En Connexion… by Malian curator Chab Touré assesses local developments in contemporary photography by introducing a new generation of Malian photographers, while an ambitious pedagogy programme aims to engage up to 100 schools across Bamako.

An important objective of the biennale is to provide a platform for countries with an emerging photographic practice. This is done through presentation of workshops that have taken places during the inter-biennale period. This year we present new works from emerging photographic platforms in Algeria through an exhibition organised by Bruno Boudjelal, and the work of young Nigeriens inspired by the photographs of Niamey nightlife of the 1970s by Philippe Koudjina Ayi. Koudjina’s work will be presented alongside the work contemporary Nigerien photographers in an exhibition curated by Philippe Guionie. 

The foregoing exhibition programme is complemented by a range of activities during the opening/professional week (31 October–4 November). Panel discussions and roundtables will engage issues such as “Publishing in Africa”, “What is the role of photography in documenting crisis today?”, and “Photography, Time and Memory”, amongst others. Additional activities include artists’ presentations, book launches and signing by artists, as well as film projections and portfolio reviews. 

For more information visit: www.rencontres-bamako.com

About The Bamako Encounters, African Biennale of Photography 
(Rencontres de Bamako)
Founded in 1994, the Bamako Encounters are collaboratively produced and organised by Mali’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Craft and and the Institut français, Paris. The biennale is the first and principal international platform dedicated to African photography and lens-based media on the continent. In its aim to promote and assess photography-based practices from local and international perspectives, the Bamako Encounters operates as a platform for presenting artwork and cultivating professional relationships among artists, curators, art historians, collectors, and the public more broadly. In addition to its emphasis on engaging local cultural centres, galleries, foundations, and schools, the biennale routinely collaborates with international foundations and cultural organisations to position Bamako as an important site for analysing and sharing recent developments in lens-based media.  
10th Bamako Encounters, African Biennale of Photography: Telling Time
Executive Director: Samuel Sidibé
Artistic Director: Bisi Silva
Associate Curators: Antawan I. Byrd (Publications & Special Projects) and Yves Chatap (Exhibitions & Special Projects) 
Scenography: Issa Diabaté (Koffi & Diabate Architectes, Abidjan) with Dramane Cherif Aidara (UneOtre Design, Bamako)

Catherine Philippot, Media Relations: cathphilippot [​at​] relations-media.com

Exhibitions and programme announced for 10th Bamako Encounters, African Biennale of Photography: Telling Time
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Rencontres de Bamako – African Biennale of Photography
October 24, 2015

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