His excellency, Mr Andogoly Guindo, Minister of Crafts, Culture, Hotel Industry and Tourism of the Republic of Mali, officially opened the 13th edition of the Biennale on the 7th of December with all the pomp and ceremony expected of such an important cultural event.
Mr Andogoly Guindo, Minister of Crafts, Culture, Hotel Industry and Tourism of the Republic of Mali. Photo Credits: All images © Suzette and Brendon Bell-Roberts for ART AFRICA, Main Media Partner, 13th Edition of the Bamako Encounters – African Biennale of Photography 2022.
In the inspiring words of Dr Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, artistic director of Bamako Encounters – African Biennale of Photography, during his opening speech, “If this Biennale can happen despite a long period of Covid and a long embargo on the people of Mali – it means a wind is blowing, a wind of generation, a wind of wisdom, a wind of peace. If Mali can host this Biennale today despite the many odds, despite pessimistic predictions and doubts – then it means Mali is rising, Africa is rising, the African world is rising, and especially, it means that art and culture of and by our peoples from around the world is rising, despite the many odds.”
The title of the Biennale, ‘Maa ka Maaya ka ca a yere kono – on Multiplicity, Difference, Becoming, and Heritage’, has been thoughtfully curated by these accomplished curators, Akinbode Akinbiyi, Meriem Berrada, Tandazani Dhlakama and Liz Ikiriko. Categorised into five chapters, each exhibited in a different venue. The exhibitions took us on a journey through the city, an adventure of discovery and an insight into the work of the 75 participating artists. Works by emerging artists hang alongside retrospectives of highly regarded and established artists Joy Gregory, Daoud Aloud Syed, Maria Magdelena Campos Pons, Samuel Fosso and Jo Ractliffe.
Despite budget restraints and other adversity, the team pulled this event off professionally and efficiently, and a huge congratulations on this massive feat is in order. Each evening ended with a party, a welcome at the end to a long, action-packed day, relaxing with the artists and curators and enjoying the contemporary renditions of traditional Malian music under the stars!
A fitting end to a busy year of travelling for us, a year of visiting biennales and global art events, an exciting year indeed.
Dr Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Artistic Director of the 13th Edition of the Bamako Encounters.
Cheick Diallo, Executive Director of the Bamako Encounters
LEFT TO RIGHT: Cheick Diallo, Ananias Léki Dago, Dr Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Rainer Hauswirth.
Photo Credits: All images © Suzette and Brendon Bell-Roberts for ART AFRICA, Main Media Partner, 13th Edition of the Bamako Encounters – African Biennale of Photography 2022.
For more information, please visit Bamako Encounters – African Biennale of Photography.