Bamako Photography Biennial wants to go beyond conventional photographic approaches

Currents of Consciousness” is the theme of the 12th edition of the Bamako Photography Biennial. “Bamako Rencontres – Biennale africaine de la photographie“. The 25th-anniversary event runs until January 31st in the capital of Mali. According to its creators, the show wants to challenge the participants’ vision by including artistic projects that go beyond conventional photographic approaches.

The theme of this edition of the Bamako Biennial is based on the 1977 jazz album Streams of Consciousness, a collaboration between pianist Abdullah Ibrahim and percussionist Max Roach.

Performance at Palais De La Culture Bamako Cultural Center, with choreography by Kettly Noel

The program includes 85 artistic proposals from the African continent as well as several special projects such as the exhibition Five Photographers: A tribute to David Goldblatt, curated by South African photographer John Fleetwood, which has already been exhibited at the Franco-Mozambican Cultural Center in Maputo. Fleetwood gained notoriety for his portrayal of South Africa during the apartheid period.

Pulling out of Pretoria: the 7:00 p.m. bus from Marabastad to Waterval in KwaNdebele. by David Goldblatt

Several exhibitions should be part of the biennial’s programming, with emphasis, according to its directors, to collective practices that address the possibility of creating complementary communities.


With artistic director Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, this year’s Biennial is attended by a group of curators: Aziza Harmel, Astrid Sokona Lepoultier and Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh. As well as two artistic consultants, Akinbode Akinbiyi and Seydou Camara, and the participation of set designer Cheick Diallo who, together, defined the theme of this edition and elaborated the program.

The program can be found at