Contemporary photography from Mali and Senegal has drawn increasing attention from the international art world since the 1990s. Especially vibrant scenes have developed in the metropolitan cities of Dakar and Bamako where numerous photographers are combining the genres of street, press and studio photography with their own pictorial traditions and aesthetics. Other forms of documentary photography also play a significant role in society, for example, for presenting information to the illiterate and conveying traditions and tales. In fact, an entire market has developed around these applied areas of photography. However, there are very few professional training and financing structures in place to promote artistic photography based on a Western model. As a result, photographic art projects are usually conceived as international projects. This allows the artists to work in an environment of competing expectations, negotiating between tradition, their own personal goals and the demands of the Western art market.
The project featured important works and voices of leading protagonists in the Malian and Senegalese photography scenes. Directed by art historian Bärbel Küster, the large-scale photo exhibition at the Stadthaus Ulm presented video interviews with the photographers Emmanuel Bakary Daou, Fatoumata Diabaté, Malika Diagana, Harandane Dicko, Omar Victor Diop, Elise Fitte-Duval, Mamadou Gomis, Boubacar Touré Mandémory, Angélina Nwachukwu, Amadou Sow, Djibril Sy and Ibrahima Thiam. The interviews and photographic works shed light on the artists’ self-image in periods of social and political turmoil in Senegal and Mali.
Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste
Am Weißenhof 1