Bamako '05. African photography meetings. Another world

The selection from Bamako'05 presented at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) includes the work of 13 of the 39 photographers chosen for the biennial's international exhibition. All of them offer a subjective viewpoint that, as Simon Njami, general curator of the Rencontres , says, “seeks not to impose itself as an axiom but to present a proposal, a possibility, an alternative”. They seek not to say “this is the reality” but “this too is a reality”. By means of their subjectivity, they extend and enrich the way we see.

The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, with the sponsorship of Fundació Caixa Catalunya and Consorci Zona Franca, presents the exhibition Bamako'05. Another world, curated by Pep Subirós.

Like “Bamako 03”, presented at the CCCB in 2004, the exhibition “Bamako 05” has two principal objectives.

First, it sets out to offer a closer look at contemporary African photography, a particularly outstanding field on the artistic scene of that continent which, despite its geographic proximity, remains largely unknown to us as regards its culture and art.

Second, it aims to publicize the importance of Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie, a biennial event that, after six outings, is now consolidated as one of the continent's major artistic meeting points.

With these objectives as its starting point, and thanks to an agreement with the organizers of the Rencontres in Bamako, the exhibition at the CCCB comprises a large selection of approximately 330 photographs from the most interesting submissions to the 2005 show, which ran from 10 November to 10 December, plus printed and film documentation.

The selection respects the core structure of the Rencontres, with a competitive central international exhibition (this year with the theme “Another world”), and a series of monographic sections centring on specific photographers, themes or countries.

CONTENTS
The photographs selected for the presentation of this exhibition at the CCCB are organized around the following sections:

A selection of some 100 photographs from the international exhibition, including winning works at Bamako 2005 by the photographers Rana El Nemr (Egypt), Uchechukwu James Iroha (Nigeria), Mikhael Subotzky (South Africa) and Zohra Bensemra (Algeria).

One of the monographic shows, in this case the work of Malick Sidibé, born in Mali in 1936.

Two tributes to great African photographers: the recently deceased John Mauluka (Zimbabwe, 1932-2003) and the veteran Ranjith Kally, born in South Africa in 1925.

One of the “national” exhibitions, devoted to Algeria, with some 100 photographs and the photographic work of visual artists with approximately 20 exhibits, including those of Jane Alexander (South Africa) and Pascal Marthine Tayou (Cameroon).

In addition to the presentation of original photographs, the exhibition at the CCCB includes a section of bibliographic documentation and a space for videographic documentation about the previous Rencontres.

International exhibition

The selection from Bamako'05 presented at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) includes the work of 13 of the 39 photographers chosen for the biennial's international exhibition. All of them offer a subjective viewpoint that, as Simon Njami, general curator of the Rencontres , says, “seeks not to impose itself as an axiom but to present a proposal, a possibility, an alternative”. They seek not to say “this is the reality” but “this too is a reality”. By means of their subjectivity, they extend and enrich the way we see.

Tribute
John Mauluka (Zimbabwe, 1932-2003)

John Mauluka was born in Harare (Zimbabwe) in 1932 and died in 2003 in the same city. He was one of the great African photo reporters and, for almost 50 years, portrayed the transformations of his land and the joys and sorrows of his people. His is a deeply humanistic form of photography that, while recording the hardness of living conditions of the vast majority of the population of Zimbabwe and the arbitrariness of the powers that be, is always full of tenderness, even humour, and definitely solidarity.

Monographic exhibition
Malick Sidibé (Mali)

Malick Sidibé was born in 1936 in Soloba (Mali) and now lives and works in Bamako. His images, like those of Seydou Keita, are a requisite reference in the history of photography, to the times when, as Dagara Dakin, the curator of this exhibition, reminds us, “the winds of independence blew over Africa and the future looked full of promise”. So far, history has not kept its promise—quite the contrary—but Malick Sidibé's photos live on not only as a much-loved monument to hope, to the joy of living, but also as proof that other histories are possible. Among other reasons because they have, at some point, been real.

Memory
Ranjith Kally (South Africa)

The exhibition devoted to Ranjith Kally reveals to us not just a first-rate photographer, but also a hidden history—in the words of the exhibition's curator, Riason Naidoo, “one of Africa's best kept secrets”—and a suppressed memory: the large Indian presence in eastern and southern Africa, the segregation suffered by this community during apartheid, their fight against racist frenzy side by side with the black population. Kally brilliantly and perspicaciously reveals a world—his world, another world–that is very rich yet unknown not only outside his country but even, until very recently, in his own country, South Africa.

National exhibition
Algeria

The exhibition of Algerian photography also addresses the theme of recovery of a veiled history, that of the conflict that stained the country with blood almost throughout the 1990s. In this case, though, not so much because it was hidden—the media was full of it all through that period—but because of the partiality with which it was presented. The selection made by Michket Krifa includes the dramas of the Algerian civil war but it does not limit itself to documenting them. It also presents to us incredible strength and affirmation of life in the face of violence and terror.

Crossing over
Jane Alexander (South Africa), Pascal Marthine Tayou (Cameroon)

The Crossing Over section has chosen the work of two artists, Jane Alexander and Pascal Marthine Tayou, who regularly use very different registers and techniques to make incursions into photography as a terrain to extend and experiment with their research and their output, basically sculptural in the case of Alexander, decidedly multimedia in that of Tayou. Jane Alexander's photomontages present us with the disturbing presence of the animality within us, with the fragility of the open-ended process of humanization. Tayou's zooms draw out the beauty inscribed in the most humble of flaking walls.

Contents

Bamako'05

Publications

Bamako'05

Un altre món / Otro mundo / Another world

Credits

Produced by

Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona

Sponsors

Fundació Caixa Catalunya