Arturo Bibang, A Annobon. Los Peces, 2011 © Arturo Bibang.

Bakary Emmanuel Daou, Fer et dérivé plastique pour une vie durable, 2010 © Bakary Emmanuel Daou.

African Photography Biennial Takes on Global Sustainability

Nyani Quarmyne, Une maison ensevelie et son propriétaire.Totope Village, Ghana, 2010-2011© Nyani Quarmyne.

Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, Granite Mining in Angola, 2009 © Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi.

Pieter Hugo, Permanent Error, 2009-2010 © Pieter Hugo.

Khalil Nemmaoui, La maison de l’arbre, 2009 © Khalil Nemmaoui.


23 Rue Ravenstein
+ 32 (0) 2 507 82
Bamako Encounters:
African Photography Biennial

June 14-August 26, 2012

In collaboration with Tour & Taxis and the Royal Museum for Central Africa, BOZAR presents the 9th edition of Bamako Encounters: African Photography Biennial, curated by Michket Krifa and Laura Serani. This biennial has played a central role in the cultural life of Mali for 17 years now. It has developed into the Pan-African event for photography on the continent and in the diaspora. The biennial, which offers a number of exhibitions and workshops, plays an important role in the development of an art market in Africa and contributes to building up the international reputation of African photography. The 9th edition took place from November 1, 2011 to January 1, 2012 in Bamako and travels to Brussels this summer.

The central theme of this edition is the quest for a "more sustainable" world. Global warming, the exhaustion of raw materials and food stocks, deforestation, and water shortages are all crucial issues. Alongside ecological sustainability, political and social sustainability are also key. The enthusiasm with which artists tackled the central theme shows African artists' commitment. Although the prospects worldwide may, at first sight, appear gloomy, the photographs and videos exhibited engage viewers towards awakening and mobilisation.

The main exhibition, Pan-African Photography: For a Sustainable World, is presented in the buildings of the former industrial warehouse Tour & Taxis, a World heritage site. The exhibition is a kaleidoscope of contemporary creative work on the African continent, with 281 photographs and 10 video works by 45 artists of different generations, statuses, and backgrounds, most living and working in Africa. The selection includes work by, among others, Pieter Hugo (a renowned South African photographer, winner of many awards including the Seidou Keita Prize at the 9th edition of the Bamako Encounters and the World Press Photo Award 2006), Michael Tsegaye (an Ethiopian photographer who regularly works for Doctors Without Borders), Nermine Hammam (an Egyptian photographer and graphic artist), and Calvin Dondo (a freelance photographer who exhibited in the Zimbabwean pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2011).

The Royal Museum for Central Africa presents two monographic exhibitions. Kiripi Katembo's series Un Regard consists of 19 photographs taken in the streets of Kinshasa during the floods. The 25 photographs, Pêcheurs de nuit, by Abdoulaye Barry are portraits of fishers around Lake Chad.

The three exhibitions complement the Summer of Photography, the photographic biennale organised by BOZAR and 30 partners. The thread running through the 4th edition is landscape photography. For more information, see

On June 15 the Centre for Fine Arts hosts a discussion on the state of contemporary art in Africa, with, among others, Samuel Sidibé, director of the National Museum in Mali and managing director of Bamako Encounters. The artistic directors of the 9th edition, Michket Krifa and Laura Serani, will also speak, as will the independent curator and specialist in African photography Simon Njami, who was artistic director of the Bamako Biennial from 2001 to 2008 and curated the photography exhibition A Useful Dream in the context of BOZAR's Visionary Africa festival in 2010. He is also involved in BOZAR’s travelling exhibition platform Visionary Africa: Art at Work, which followed the festival.

Participating artists (Bamaka Encounters: Pan-African Photography) include: Photographers: Nana Kofi Acquah (Ghana), Akintunde Akinleye (Nigeria), Sophia Baraket (Tunisia), Arturo Bibang (Equatorial Guinea), Drissa Coulibaly (Mali), Raymond Dakoua (Ivory Coast), Bakary Emmanuel Daou (Mali), Fatoumata Diabaté (Mali), Omar Victor Diop (Senegal), Calvin Dondo (South Africa), Hichem Driss (Tunisia), Hasan & Husain Essop (South Africa), Ymane Fakhir (Morocco), Amr Fekry (Egypt), Elise Fitte-Duval (Martinique), Faten Gaddes (Tunisia), François-Xavier Gbré (Ivory Coast), Lofti Ghariani (Tunisia), Bruno Hadjih (Algeria), Nermine Hamman (Egypt), Pieter Hugo (South Africa), Délio Jasse (Angola), Mouna Karray (Tunisia), Kiripi Katembo (Democratic Republic of Congo), Francis Kodia (Congo), Mamadou Konaté (Mali), N’krumah Lawson Daku (Togo), Armel Louzala (Congo), Mário Macilau (Mozambique), Sabelo Mlangeni (South Africa), Fabrice Monteiro (Benin), Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi (Zimbabwe), Daniel Naudé (South Africa), Khalil Nemmaoui (Morocco), Jehad Nga (Libya), Charles Okereke (Nigeria), Adolphus Opara (Nigeria), Nyaba Léon Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso), Nyani Quarmyne (Ghana), Jo Ractliffe (South Africa), Roberto Stephenson (Haiti), Michael Tsegaye (Ethiopia), Thandile Zwelibanzi (South Africa), Uzoma Anyanwu (Nigeria), Lien Botha (South Africa).

Video artists: Bakary Diallo (Mali), Em’kal Eyongakpa (Cameroon), Dimitri Fagbohoun (Benin), Khaled Hafez (Egypt), Katia Kameli (Algeria), Amal Kenawy (Egypt), Brent Meistre (South Africa), Grace Ndiritu (Kenya), Rina Ralay-Ranaiyo (Madagascar), Ahmed Sabry (Egypt)

The exhibition Pan-African Photography: For a Sustainable World of the 9th edition of Bamako Encounters, under artistic direction of Michket Krifa and Laura Sérani, is a coproduction with the Ministry of Culture of Mali and the Institut français with the support of the European Union.

The exhibition is a coproduction of BOZAR EXPO with the support of the Belgian Development Cooperation and with the collaboration of Tour&Taxis, Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika.

Lien Botha, Parrot Jungle, 2009 © Lien Botha.

Akintunde Akinleye, Delta A Vanishing Wetland, 2006-2011 © Akintunde Akinleye.

Khalil Nemmaoui, La maison de l’arbre, 2009 © Khalil Nemmaoui.