Commissaire / Curator : Chab Toure

The Focus Mali exhibition shines a light on the
latest aesthetic movements that have emerged in
Malian photography. As a result of the opportunity
to make contacts and engage in dialogue at the biennale,
over the past ten years more and more photographers have
been working to understand the language of photography
as “an expression of a purely aesthetic pursuit.” This young
generation of Malian photographers approaches photography
foremost as a medium for artistic expression rather than
considering it as some sort of magic practice that will save
the elegance of an anniversary or the enthusiasm of a successful
surprise party from being forgotten. This generation attempts to use
photography as a way to examine their own lives and the life
of society as a whole.

With intelligence and healthy determination,
these artists occasionally develop and deal with
a militant artistic discourse regarding contemporary
Mali, a discourse that then engages them in the fight
for a new vision of the country and the world. Their work
questions the systems that were established too hastily and
that ultimately limited African photography to the studio
photography of the 1950s. The source for their aesthetic material
is found in their daily lives, in their longing for elsewhere, and
in the dreams that the globalised world has inspired within them.
These photographers are nourished by the technological and social
revolutions that have defined their lives. They are connecting to as many worlds as possible in order to find a little light.

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