For the event, a working group of fourteen photographers – nine men and five women, all Malian – was created to draw up a body of work depicting their own perspectives on the current state of affairs in the world.The focal point for this adventure was the “sustainable world” theme of the 2011 Encounters of Bamako.
Any analysis of issues to arise in the course of the exercise had to be based on world data. For us Malian photographers, it was like being asked to view the world through a pinhole. And this meant questioning the complex issues of the world while reducing them to everyday life and the immediate environment. Within the framework of the workshop, we imposed certain constraints on ourselves to avoid the easy trap of rehashing those hackneyed snaps of Africa with which we have always been bombarded. The way we worked often created tensions among us, as it inevitably threw our usual practices into question.
Fortunately, it also led us up new paths to explore the way we processed images. The exercise proved to be quite an adventure. Even if we are all Malian, we formed a very heterogeneous group: each of the fourteen photographers comes from very different backgrounds and has very different personal concerns. Through our distinctive photographic approaches we tackled topical themes to raise issues, promote awareness and inform.
Our means of expression was photography, an apt symbol of our contribution to global debates. We can only hope our message is heard! Two weeks of work left us feeling hungry for more and, as photographers, we were left with a craving to explore our subjects more deeply in our quest for maturity.
I would venture to say that the range of flavours we offer is merely an appetiser for productions to come, which over time will improve, and as our art develops, will increasingly tease our optical taste buds.
Ananias Léki Dago
The Mali Version
Workshop and exhibition directed by Ananias Léki Dago
Participants: Adama Bamba, Bakary Emmanuel Daou, Sokona Diabaté, Ansoumane Diarra, Amadou Keita, Mamadou Konaté, Moussa Koumaré, Mariam Ibrahim Maïga,Tiécoura N’Daou, Abdoul Karim Sidibé, Aminata Sissoko, Mariétou Sissoko, OumouTraoré and Salif Traoré