After the 10th edition in 2015, which marked a milestone in the Biennale’s history, Bamako is again honoured and delighted to welcome the 11th Rencontres de Bamako, the African Biennale of Photography. Mali’s Ministry of Culture is proud to be working in partnership with the Institut fran.ais in producing this latest edition.
My entire team and I, in Bamako and in Paris, feel privileged to be able to help build this landmark event for contemporary African creation as the years go by.
We cannot stress enough the extent to which Bamako offers outstanding visibility to photographers from the continent and the diaspora who are contributing to the emergence of contemporary African photography, in both professional circles and for the general public.
Like Dak’art in Senegal, the Rencontres de Bamako are part of this movement that highlights the value of the questions African artists raise on the social and historical issues that are unique to them by means of contemporary creation and speaking out. It is a movement that has grown day by day since the Revue Noire’s initiatives in the 1990s. In this respect, the recent opening of the MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary African Art) in Cape Town in South Africa is a significant event.
Marie-Ann Yemsi, curator and head of an independent consulting agency in contemporary art and cultural productions, is the curator for this Biennale. By choosing to call this year’s Rencontres Afrotopia, she invites the artists to think about drivers for the future and the continent’s contribution to a globalised world.
The programme involves Bamako’s cultural stakeholders including the National Museum of Mali, the epicentre of the event, the Mus.e du District, the Galerie Médina, the Institut français in Bamako and the National Park. The many collateral exhibitions will enrich the visitor’s experience.
I would also like to thank all the partners who have supported us in organising the event. Without their support it would have been impossible to maintain the Biennale over all these years.
Lastly, I’m delighted to inform you that after Bamako, the Rencontres will be presented at the National Museum of World Cultures as part of a partnership with the Netherlands from April 2018.
General Delegate of the Rencontres de Bamako