• Bamako Biennale

    Various Venues

    International biennials tend to inhabit their host cities uneasily, but in the capital of Mali, one of Africa’s poorest countries, the disjunction seems more profound. The art world’s “discovery” of Bamako’s postwar studio photographers Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé spurred the launch of the first pan-African “Rencontres africaines de la photographie” (Bamako Biennale) in 1994. Yet a significant gap divides the vernacular reception of those black-and-white studio portraits taken for local families in the ’50s through ’70s from their reception as fine art photography by today’s international

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