February 19, 2015 - Bamako Encounters - Bisi Silva appointed Artistic Director of the 10th Bamako Encounters
February 19, 2015

Bisi Silva appointed Artistic Director of the 10th Bamako Encounters

Bisi Silva appointed Artistic Director of the 10th Bamako Encounters (Rencontres de Bamako), African Biennale of Photography, 2015​


The Ministry of Culture, Mali and Institut français are pleased to announce the appointment of Bisi Silva as Artistic Director of the 10th Bamako Encounters, African Biennale of Photography, from 31 October to 31 December 2015. Silva is both an independent curator and the founding director of the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos. 

For the 10th Edition of the Bamako Encounters titled TELLING TIME, Silva plans to explore the complex and multifaceted relationship between images and time, taking both the country’s rich tradition of storytelling and its recent political upheavals as points of departure. “Mali is an extraordinary country,” Silva observes. “Since my first visit to Bamako in 2001, the city has animated my understanding of photography’s vital role in exploring notions of time—be it from an aesthetic, political, or theoretical perspective. The Bamako Encounters is the most important platform for African photography and I am honoured by the opportunity to draw on the working relationships with artists and organisations in the city as well as from across the continent, that I have built over the years. I plan to develop a robust programme that highlights local practices, and situates them within continental and global contexts.” 

Regarding Bisi Silva’s appointment, the biennale’s Executive Director Samuel Sidibé remarks, “The forthcoming edition of the biennale marks the tenth anniversary of this important event. We look forward to both working with Bisi Silva on the realisation of her exciting vision for the next biennale, and to the possibilities the event offers for future generations of African photographers.”   

About Bisi Silva
Bisi Silva co-curated The Progress of Love, a transcontinental collaboration between the Menil Collection, Houston; Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Missouri; and CCA, Lagos (2012–13), J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Moments of Beauty, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (2011); and the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Greece; Praxis: Art in Times of Uncertainty (2009). She was one of the curators for the Dak’Art Biennale, Senegal (2006). A frequent participant in international conferences and symposia, Silva has published in journals and art magazines including Artforum, Third Text, The Exhibitionist, and ArtsouthAfrica. Most recently, she edited the comprehensive monograph, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere published by CCA, Lagos (2014). Bisi Silva sits on the editorial/advisory boards of Art South Africa, N.Paradoxa: International Feminist Art Journal, and ContemporaryAnd. Silva was a member of the international jury for the Pinchuk Art Centre’s Future Generation Art Prize (2014), as well as the 55th Venice Biennale (2013).

Samuel Sidibé has been the Executive Director of the Bamako Encounters since 2009. He is also the Director of the National Museum of Mali, a position he has held since 1987. 

10th Bamako Encounters 2015 open call for applicants
Deadline: 31 March
Open to the practices in photography, video, and film, with special attention to contemporary art and cultural histories in Africa, the Bamako Encounters feature a series of initiatives, focusing on a central theme, which is critically explored throughout the city. As the locus of the biennale, the Panafrican exhibition results from a call for applications and the selection of artists representing all of the African continent and its diaspora. The call for applications for the 2015 tenth edition of the Bamako Encounters, TELLING TIME, is open to lens-based practitioners from Africa and the Diaspora, from 15 January to 30 March. 

Application information: www.rencontres-bamako.com

About The Bamako Encounters (Rencontres de Bamako), Biennale of African Photography
Founded in 1994, the Bamako Encounters is collaboratively produced and organised by Mali’s Ministry of Culture and Institut Français. 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.  

Samuel Sidibé
Director, Museé National du Mali
Executive Director, The Bamako Encounters
T + 223 2023 1909 / musee [​at​] afribonemali.net

Lucie Touya
Institut français
Afrique et Caraïbes en créations programme 
Département des échanges et coopérations artistiques
T + 33 1 53 69 35 79 / lucie.touya [​at​] institutfrancais.com / www.institutfrancais.com

Bisi Silva appointed Artistic Director of the 10th Bamako Encounters, African Biennale of Photography, 2015
Bamako Encounters
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