13th Bamako Encounters Announced

The 13th Bamako Encounters – African Biennale of Photography, has announced its curatorial team, theme, and dates. The 2021 edition is led by General Director Cheick Diallo, Artistic Director Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, and curatorial team — Akinbode Akinbiyi (artist and independent curator), Meriem Berrada (artistic director of MACAAL, Marrakech), Tandazani Dhlakama (assistant curator Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town), and Liz Ikiriko (artist, assistant curator Art Gallery York University).

Focusing on Multiplicity, Difference, Becoming, and Heritage, the biennale takes on the dominant narrative of the ‘globalized world’: that of singularity – universalism, single identities, singular cultures, insular political systems. With this narrative, however, comes an illusory sense of stability and stasis; identities seem inalterable, cultures are immutable, political systems prove uneasy in the face of change. Thus, in sustaining this pervasive discourse, there has been a great loss of multiplicity, fragmentation, process and change, and not least, of complex notions of humanity and equally complex narratives.

The Bamako Encounters 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. Accordingly, Amadou Hampâté Bâ’s statement (Aspects of African civilisation. Paris: Présence Africaine,1972) presiding over the manifestation, Maa ka Maaya ka ca a yere kono, translates to, “The persons of the person are multiple in the person”.

Read the full curatorial statement here.

The 13th Bamako Encounters will be held from 20 November 2021 to 20 January 2022.



Artists are invited to reflect on such processes of becoming, multiplicities, layered and fragmented identities, vibrant understandings of heritage/patrimony, storytelling, and difference(s).

The call is open to artists from the African world, amateur and professional photographers and video artists, individually or in groups, without age or nationality limit.


Application fee

There is no application fee

Application Deadline

Applications may be submitted until Saturday 31 May 2021, at 00:00 U.S. time

Submission procedure
Applications can only be submitted online on the Bamako Encounters internet platform (Access the application form)

The application must include:

  1. The completed application form
  2. A detailed curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages)
  3. A portrait of the artist and a high-resolution ID photo
  4. A scanned copy of the current passport until 2022

A note of intent presenting the series and/or the video works, in French or English, in PDF format of 5 pages maximum, containing a clear and concise description of the proposal
In the case of a specific installation, please include images that allow us to visualize or imagine the proposed project
5. Candidates’ portfolio with biography
6. Five high-resolution images (300 dpi for 30 × 50 cm) of recent works (property of the artist), with their technical file (name of the artist, title, date of creation, medium, dimensions, value of the work and of the insurance, addresses of the places of origin and delivery)


7. A folder (zip format) containing the video files (5 max.) of a maximum volume of 2 GB, in h264 and doing between 30 and 50 FPS with a minimum resolution of 3k

You can present several series and apply in both fields (photography/video).

Naming of the files: name_firstname_title_series.

Send your files (photos or videos) in a single zip folder. File name: Last_Name.zip.

The photographers attest and guarantee that the works presented are original creations within the meaning of the law on intellectual property and that they do not constitute the counterfeiting of protected works. They are entirely responsible for their photographic and/or videographic works presented.

Only submissions that respect these conditions will be considered.

For more information visit www.rencontres-bamako.org or email contact@rencontres-bamako.com (at least 5 days before the closing date of the call).

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