Official Carrier of Bamako Encounters

Bamako Encounters 12th

Organized by the Ministry of Culture of Mali with the support of the Institut Français, Bamako Encounters is the principal event dedicated to contemporary photography and new imagery in Africa.

Internationally renowned, Bamako Encounters is a platform for discoveries, exchanges, and visibility. It is an essential venue for the promotion of African photographers, and a time of exchange with the Malian public and the professionals from around the world.

This 12th edition of the African Photography Biennial, which was created in 1994, marks the celebration of its 25th anniversary. It will be held in Bamako from 30 November 2019 to 31 January 2020.

Lassana Igo Diarra, Director of Galerie Médina (Mali) and Director of Balani’s Editions, is the General Delegate of Bamako Encounters.
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, independent curator and founder of Savvy - "laboratory of ideas" (Kassel-Germany), is the Artistic Director of the 12th edition of the Bamako Encounters.

The pan-African exhibition, at the heart of the event, is the result of a selection of African photographers and videographers. It is part of the general theme "STREAMS OF CONSCIOUSNESS" and will bring together African artists from the continent and its diasporas.

The open call for the participation of photographers and video artists in the Pan-African exhibition of the 12th edition of the Bamako Encounters is open from March 20 to May 1, 2019.


The theme of this 12th edition of the Bamako Encounters, "STREAMS OF CONSCIOUSNESS", refers to the first track of the eponymous album by Abdullah Ibrahim and Max Roache, Streams of Consciousness (1977).
Like a soul-to-soul conversation, this piece is reminiscent of what William James called the "stream of consciousness" in his book The Principles of Psychology (1890), that is, the continuous stream of consciousness of a person and his conscious reactions to events.

By choosing this theme, it is a question of thinking of the work as the expression of an interior monologue, as a dialogue between artists, from artist to spectator or as the sensory reactions of the artist to events exteriors. It is therefore a question of reflecting on the notion of representation from the point of view of the artist, which is expressed by a current of artistic thought. Thus the theme of the Pan-African exhibition seeks to get photographers to imagine the artistic practice of the current of photographic consciousness in order to "think in pictures".

The photographic work is conceived as the fruit of the conceptual and aesthetic associations of its author. It is the expression of his inner eye or his inner voice, an evocation of what is not seen, thus putting this stream of consciousness in action.

The works selected for the Pan-African exhibition will be those that explore through photographic practice this notion of "streams of consciousness" as conceptualized in psychology and literature.

Particular attention will be paid to works that use this notion of "streams of consciousness" as a metaphor for addressing the current of thoughts of the peoples and cultures that cross the Niger River.

Emphasis will also be placed on the notion of dialogue between the continent and its diasporas, including the bridges that make up and animate the African universe. Africa has long ceased to be a geographical concept limited to its geographical space. As a global concept, Africa is concerned with people of African descent spread all over the world (Asia, Oceania, Europe, America) and on the African continent. Through the dynamics of photography it is a question of giving rise to currents of consciousness that are born from and beyond the coasts of the African continent.
(More information: concept note Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung)

Open Call

The open call for the Rencontres de Bamako is free and open to amateur photographers and professionals, alone or in collective, without age or nationality restrictions. The only condition is to present works related to Africa.

The theme of the exhibitions is "Streams of Consciousness". (More information: concept note Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung)

The format of the work is open to interpretation: photographic, strictly speaking or with projections and installations (in this case, you are kindly requested to contact directly Bamako Encounters, by email at the address (

The candidates will be selected by a jury of professionals chaired by the artistic director Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung.

Application fees
There are no application fees.

Deadline for application

Applications may be submitted until wednesday, May 1st, 2019, at midnight (Bamako time). It should be noted that registrations are only online.
(Access the application form)

Sending the work

Photographers who wish can submit their application until May 1, 2019 on the internet platform of "Rencontres de Bamako" where they can also consult the rules of the call for applications.
You must complete the online form and send us the file of your photographs and / or a copy of your film.
(Access the application form)

The application file must be submitted online on the "Rencontres de Bamako" platform, this file includes the following documents:
• The completed application form
• A folder (zip format) with a maximum of 5 images. All images must be sent in 300dpi jpeg format and have a title following the form "name of the photographer_ serial number.jpg"
• A folder (zip format) containing video files with a maximum volume of 2 Gb, in h264 and between 30 and 50 FPS with a minimum resolution of 3k. If the format of the video includes a particular staging, do not hesitate to contact us directly by mail (
• A text of 500 characters presenting the series and/or the video, in French or in English, in pdf format
• A biography of the artist
You can present several series and apply in both fields (photography/video art).
The complete application form must be sent by June 15, 2019 at midnight. Only complete files and fulfilling all these conditions will be examined by the jury.

(Access the application form)

About twenty photographers and video artists will be selected by a jury that will take place in may 2019. The decision of the committee will be sovereign and without appeal. Selected candidates will be notified by email at the beginning of June 2019.

Projects will be appreciated for their quality and artistic relevance. Collective projects are accepted.

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Institut Français
Ministère de la Culture de l’Artisanat et du Tourisme du Mali