Memories and beauty captured in Africa


Memory is among the themes featuring at the African Biennale of Photography in Mali's capital, Bamako:

image copyrightAthi-Patra Ruga
image captionMiss Azania - Exile is Waiting is the work of South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga, who uses myth and alternative identities "as a contemporary response to the post-apartheid era".
image copyrightFototala King Massassy
image captionThe only Malian to be included in the collection, Fototala King Massassy, puts this down to generations of Malian photographers "tending to fall back on tradition".
image copyrightSarah Waiswa
image captionStranger in a Familiar Land is the work of Uganda's Sarah Waiswa, who says she left a job in the corporate world to follow her passion for "creating visual poetry".
image copyrightGirma Berta
image caption"The beautiful, the ugly and all that is in between" are what 27-year-old self-taught photographer Girma Berta says he tries to capture in his work.
image copyrightSamuel Fosso
image captionWhen will an African lead The Vatican? Cameroon's Samuel Fosso confronts the politics of religion with his Black Pope series.
image copyrightEdson Chagas
image captionIn Edson Chagas' Found Not Taken series, discarded items are picked up and moved to a different location, suggesting that what appears to be reality is in fact a construct.
image copyrightJames Barnor
image captionTaken in 1971, this photo of a shop assistant in Accra by James Barnor shows his signature observation of style, during a career which took him from Ghana to London.
image copyrightRahima Gambo
image captionEducation is Forbidden, a series by Rahima Gambo, considers how schoolchildren in northern Nigeria are coping as Islamist militants violate "neutral safe spaces where knowledge is transferred to students".
image copyrightChristian Sanna
image captionMadagascar's combat sport moraigny, in which one's opponent is viewed not as an enemy but as a partner to build oneself up, is the subject of Christian Sanna's piece.
image copyrightJoana Choumali
image captionAfter the 2016 terror attack on the Grand Bassam beach resort in Ivory Coast, Joana Choumali wanted to document the "melancholy" she witnessed in a place which she had always associated with happy memories. "Ça va aller" (It'll be OK) reflects her view that Ivorians "do not discuss their psychological issues", making it harder to heal trauma.
image copyrightZied Ben Romdhane
image captionIn West of Life, the "discord between people and nature" is balanced against Zied Ben Romdhane's wish to honour the "humour of the inhabitants and my affection for them". The collection depicts life in Tunisia's poor mining villages, which are "rich in resources but marginalised by the government".
image copyrightMame-Diarra Niang
image captionOne of a series of photos taken whilst riding a taxi in Dakar, "Le peuple du mur" (The Wall People) captures isolated moments of calm in Senegal's bustling capital.
image copyrightBob Muchiri Njenga
image captionA post-apocalyptic African city is seen through a boy's eyes in "Kitchwali" (TV Head) by Bob Muchiri Njenga. This still is taken from the Kenyan artist's experimental short film of the same title.
image copyrightEric Gyamfi
image captionEveryday scenes of "queer life" in Ghana are at the heart of Eric Gyamfi's series Just Like Us.
image copyrightDawit L Petros
image captionThe wanderer, the stranger and the migrant underpin Dawit L Petros's series, The Stranger's Notebook. The Eritrean artist undertook a year-long journey from Nigeria to Morocco through to Europe, creating and capturing the multidisciplinary project along the way.

Rencontres de Bamako is jointly run by Mali's government and the Institut Francais and works are on display until 31 January 2018.

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