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The curatorial lineup for Bamako Encounters 2021.
The curatorial lineup for Bamako Encounters 2021.

Rencontres de Bamako Reveals Curatorial Team, Theme for 2021 Edition

Organizers of Rencontres de Bamako (Bamako Encounters), the biennial dedicated to African photography and video, have named a curatorial team for the event’s thirteenth iteration, to take place Mali from November 20, 2021, to January 20, 2022. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung will return as artistic director, overseeing a team of four curators. These are Akinbode Akinbiyi, an artist and independent curator; 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.

The theme of the biennial this year will be “Maa ka Maaya ka ca a yere kono: On Multiplicity, Difference, Becoming, and Heritage.” The exhibition’s main title, drawn from a 1972 statement by Malian writer and historian Amadou Hampâté Bâ, translates in English as “The Persons of the Person Are Multiple in the Person.” According to the press release, the exhibition will “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.”

In addition to works by a roster of participating artists, which has not yet been revealed, the biennial will include works chosen by curators from an open call, to be issued at a future date.