The 2015 edition will be an “anniversary edition”. Apart from the artistic aspect of the event, this edition of the Encounters will help focus the news from Mali on cultural affairs of a more “positive” nature in terms of image and economic revival.

There will also be a retrospective of past editions. The artistic project will be constructed around the narrative of Time. Photographers will be invited to create a
narrative of Africa, not through a view of things on the surface but, rather, through the way they use the image to delve into the reality of their time. The approach is designed to create a link between the past, the present and the future of the continent. As an approach, it is perfectly suited to deal with the recent upheavals experienced not only by Mali, but also by North Africa with its Arab Springs and, more recently, by Burkina Faso.

The Artistic Director Bisi Silva with the associate curators Antawan I. Byrd and Yves Chatap, hopes to create a fresh view of the creation of photography and video as practised in Africa. There will be both documentary and artistic works, as well as forms closer to installations. It is already evident from the preselection of artists process, that a lot of the work is sourced in film and picture archives. Humour abounds and there is no lack of self-mockery on the part of the artists – both of themselves and their countries. The religious question arises in a curious and subtle fashion in the works to be displayed, bearing in mind the crisis reigning over the continent at the moment.

The Bamako Encounters 2015 will be a pan-African exhibition with artists chosen from a call for applications. This year a record number of dossiers were received from the 54 African countries and the diaspora: a total of 800 applications – four times more than for the exhibition in 2011.

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