Bamako 07'

Bamako 07'. In the City and Beyond

The general aim in presenting the African Encounters of Photography of Bamako in Spain, is twofold: firstly, to offer a close-up of contemporary African photography, a sphere especially highlighted in the creative panorama of a region that is just now starting to receive the attention that its cultural and artistic vitality deserves; and secondly, also to raise awareness of the importance and value of the Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie, an event which, after seven editions, has become consolidated as one of the continent’s great artistic rendezvous, with increasing recognition and international projection.
Thus, this exhibition includes a selection of the International Exhibition presented in Bamako in November 2007 under the title “Bamako 07, In the City and Beyond”. An edition that places the accent on the fragility of the city and urban life, on the half-built or half-demolished buildings, on the passing of anonymous legs, on the shadows, on the disconcertment of those who live there. But also on the resistances, the daily struggles, the defiant look of the young people, the creativity, the playing... The whole in search of an as yet undefined, magmatic, mutating urbanity permanently under construction and reconstruction... Like in all living cities. 
This selection is composed of 90 photographs signed by Sammy Baloji, Adama Bamba, Nadia Berkani, Marie- Ange Bordas, Nabil Boutros, Saïdou Dicko, Calvin Dondo, Fanie Jason, Fouad Maazouz, Pierrot Men, Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, Sérgio Santimano, Aida Muluneh, Andrew Tshabangu and Nontsikelelo “Lolo” Veleko. On the other hand, this exhibition includes also one of the exhibitions paying tribute to great African photographers who have recently passed away, dedicated to Serge Emmanuel Jongué (Guayana, 1951-2006) and the signature monographic exhibition dedicated to Samuel Fosso, one of the great contemporary creators who are putting photography at the forefront of the visual arts.
Finally, a selection of the creative videos presented in the new section “New images”, a clear indication of how the Bamako biennial, in addition to breaking with stereotyped notions of African realities, is also renewing traditional disciplinary considerations and opening up to all those artistic expressions that have their central reference point in photography.

Curator of the 7th African Encounters of Photography: Simon Njami
Curator in Spain: Pep Subirós
Assistant curators and coordination: Sandra Maunac & Mónica Santos, Masasam