Open Call: Apply to Participate in the 13th Edition of Bamako Encounters

The organisers of Bamako Encounters – African Biennale of Photography are calling for African artists working on and off the continent, to participate in the 13th edition. Titled “Maa ka Maaya ka ca a yere kono”, artists are invited to reflect on ‘multiplicity, difference, becoming and heritage’.

Executing this year’s biennale are Cheick Diallo, as general director,  Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung who is returning as artistic director, and a curatorial team comprising of Akinbode Akinbiyi (Artist and Independent curator), Meriem Berrada (Artistic Director, MACAAL, Marrakech), Tandazani Dhlakama (Assistant Curator, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa), and Liz Ikiriko  (Artist and Assistant Curator, Art Gallery of York University, Toronto).

The Bamako Encounters 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 de la civilisation africaine, Éditions 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.”

The 13th edition of Bamako Encounters – African Biennale of Photography will take place from November 20, 2021 to January 20, 2022 in Mali.


This call is open to artists of the African world, emerging or established photographers and video artists, individuals or collectives, without age or nationality limits.

How to Apply

  • Applications are welcome online via the Bamako Encounters website.
  • Applicants must include the completed application form, a detailed CV, a head shot, a portfolio, and samples of recent work (photography, videos, and/or digital works).



A jury comprising of  the artistic director and the curatorial team will select 25 artists based on the quality of their work and artistic relevance. Selected artists will be announced in June, 2021.

Application Deadline: May 31, 2021

Registration to participate in this edition is free. Despite the global challenges of COVID-19 and the ever-changing international travel restrictions, the organisers of Bamako Encounters have committed to support engagement on contemporary African photography. They will work with participating artists to accommodate their travel or present their work remotely.

  1. I am a South African born artist and an art educator, I am interested in exhibiting a collection of photographs taken by my grand father and his son in the 1950 and till mid 1960’s. My email address is provided below.

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