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A photograph by Bernard Descamps included in Rencontres de Bamako’s eleventh edition.
A photograph by Bernard Descamps included in Rencontres de Bamako’s eleventh edition.

Rencontres de Bamako Postponed to 2022

Organizers of Rencontres de Bamako (Bamako Encounters), the Mali biennial dedicated to African photography and video, have announced that the thirteenth edition of the event is postponed to 2022, owing to what they cite as “a strong demand from artists for an extension of the application period as well as the socio-political and health-related conditions we are currently facing globally.” Orignally scheduled to take place from November 20, 2021, to January 20, 2022, the event will now run from October 20, 2022 to December 20, 2022.

The upcoming exhibition’s theme is “Maa ka Maaya ka ca a yere kono: On Multiplicity, Difference, Becoming, and Heritage.” Drawn from a 1972 statement by Malian writer and historian Amadou Hampâté Bâ, the main title translates in English as “The Persons of the Person Are Multiple in the Person.” The title reflects the organizers’ intent to “pay a powerful tribute to the spaces in between, to that which defies definition, to phases of transition, to being this and that or neither and both, to becoming, and to difference and divergence in all their shades.”

This iteration is helmed by returning director Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, who is overseeing a team of four curators: artist and independent curator Akinbode Akinbiyi; Meriem Berrada, artistic director of Marrakech’s Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden; Tandazani Dhlakama, an assistant curator at Cape Town’s Zeitz MOCA; and artist Liz Ikiriko, an assistant curator at Toronto’s Art Gallery York University.

An open call to artists of all ages and nationalities to submit their work has closed; a a full list of participating artists will be announced in November. Among the special projects on view will be extensive retrospectives on the work of Maria Magdalena Campos Pons, Samuel Fosso, Joy Gregory, Jo Ractcliffe and Daoud Aoulad Syad. Additionally, there is to be be a presentation of selected works by members of Promo-Femmes, a group of women photographers in Mali who mentored generations of women photographers.