The Fondation Blachère welcomes, for the first exhibition of the year in its art centre, more than one hundred photographs made in a workshop organized during the 2017 edition of the Photography Encounters of Bamako, under the direction of Françoise Huguier.
This workshop, entitled “In the footsteps of the Malian students sent East”, allowed six Malian photographers to immerse themselves into History and thus to embark on the traces of Malians who went to study in the USSR in the 1960s.
When the Mali gained its independence in June 1960, it was propelled on the worldwide chessboard during the Cold War. The Malian government, presided by the socialist Modibo Keita, then signed a cooperation agreement with the Soviet government. The Lumumba University, after the name of the leader of the Congolese fight for independence, is thus created in Moscow. Many young people were sent there to study in various fields and then returned home.
Each photographer has therefore investigated the past of his model and has also followed him in his home,and followed his daily life in Mali.
Lassine Coulibaly, better known as Fototala King Massassy, followed and explored the past of “Birus” Oumar Diallo, former bodyguard of the Malian President in the 1980s, and then Director of State Security.
Seydou Camara, met the filmmaker Souleymane Cisse, who studied at the VGIK (National Institute of Cinematography S. A. Guerrassimov) in Moscow.
John Kalapo, for his part, has taken a more personal approach: he traces the incredible life of his ather, Amadou Kalapo, now deceased. The son pays tribute to his father, a former student at the Aeronautical University of Kiev, who became pilot for Air Mali…
The exhibition Afrique Rouge (“Red Africa”), still curated by Françoise Huguier, who led the project from beginning to end, presents more than a hundred photographs presenting the work of artists, gathering archival documents, portraits of former students then and nowadays… For a historical and geopolitical journey through memories.
Curated by Françoise Huguier
A l’Est de Bamako
February 8th to May 4th 2019
Opening on Thursday February 7th 2019 from 6:30 pm
Fondation Blachère – Centre d’Art Contemporain Africain
384 Avenue des argiles / ZI les Bourguignons