Joana Choumali and Musa Nxumalo among the stars of the 11th Rencontres de Bamako

Titled Afrotopia, the headline show of the 11th Rencontres de Bamako features work from 40 photographers and collectives, drawn from all over the continent and from the African diaspora abroad. Shown at the National Museum of Mali, the exhibition was drawn from over 300 applications by a jury of photography insiders including Rencontres de Bamako artistic director Marie-Ann Yemsi, photographer Sammy Baloji and curator Azu Nwagbogu. It will be on show from 02 December-31 January 2018, after which the exhibition will travel to The Netherlands.
Afrotopia is the centrepiece of the Rencontres de Bamako this edition, but other exhibitions and events will also take place at venues such as the Musée du District and the Institut Français. Organised by the Malian Ministry of Culture and the Institut français, the Rencontres de Bamako was first created in 1994, and has previously featured photographers such as Malick Sidibé, Pieter Hugo, Samuel Foso and Omar Victor Diop, helping bring them to international attention.

Anthology of Youth Series, 2016-2017 © Musa N. Nxumalo
Act 1 The Roof, 2016 © Cairo Bats Collective (Mai Al Shazly, Yvonne Buchheim, Magdalena Kallenberger, Hagar Masoud, Nadia Mounier, Omneia Naguib)
West of Life, 2014-2016 © Zied Ben Romdhane
‘Ça va aller’ means ‘It will be ok’, it is a typical expression used by Ivorian people for everything, even if they know that it is not going to be ok. This work is a way to address the way Ivorian people deal with psychological suffering. In Côte d’Ivoire, people don’t discuss their psychological issues, or feelings. But the terrorist attacks in 2016 re-opened the mental wounds left by the post electoral war of 2011. Image © Joana Choumali
Des tambours sur l’oreille d’un sourd, 2015 © Teddy Mazina
Anarchie productive, 2017 © Fototala King Massassy
Diane Smyth

Diane Smyth is a freelance journalist who contributes to publications such as The Guardian, The Observer, The FT Weekend Magazine, Creative Review, The Calvert Journal, Aperture, FOAM, IMA, Aesthetica and Apollo Magazine. Prior to going freelance, she wrote and edited at BJP for 15 years. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as The Photographers Gallery and Lianzhou Foto Festival. You can follow her on instagram @dismy