TO Women Photographers from AFRICA
It is with a big pleasure I send to WIPI, in its 25th anniversary, this
report about African women photographers’s participation in 6th
African Meeting of Photography in Bamako, Mali.
It is a wish for a future plenty of peace and solidarity, a warm wellcome
to African women photographers to WIPI’s website: I am sure their
work will give a big contribution to photography in this millennium.
A lot of Thanks to Mrs Diawara Djènèba
Coulibaly, Assistant of the director of HOUSE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
in Bamako, Mali, who help me in this work.
Patrizia Pulga/ Italy
women photographerss participation in African Meeting of Photography
in Bamako, Mali.
The 6th edition of Rencontres africaines de la Photographie
(African Meeting of Photography), named Another world, was held
in Bamako, Mali, from November 10th to December 10th 2005. The meeting
was organized by Simon Njami and directed by Moussa Konatè, director
of Maison de la Photographie (House of Photography) in Bamako.
About 110 African photographers took part in the event, which played
a crucial role for African photography.
Many exhibitions took place during the 30 days: The International Exhibition;
the Exhibition of Plastic Photography; the National Exhibitions of Algeria,
Sudan and Spain,( the last one as guest country of this edition), as
well as many other workshops and initiatives like professional meetings,
exhibits for Bamako schools and other places of Mali, etc. African photographers
really filled the streets of Bamako with different languages to narrate
another world, the world of an Africa rich of potential.
In Africa the art of photography is relatively recent (except from the
famous Malian photographers Seydou Keita and Malik Sidibè, and
the great Senegalese photographer Mama Casset), and the participation
of women is really important: in this Biennial Exhibition about 30%
of the pictures exposed were from women!
Women photographers who exposed their pictures in the International
born in Namibia in 1943, free lance photographer since 1975. One
of her pictures about an abandoned miners village in her country
was used as an icon for this 6th edition of Rencontres africaines
de la Photographie .
Awa M'BENGUE, a Senegalese photographer who participated with
Règard sur Rufisque, pictures in B/W about the daily
life of her home town Rufisque, near Dakar, a place full of traditions
of the past, which still survive.
Rana EL NEMR, born in 1974 in Egypt, won
the Prize Seydou Keita (the most important Malian photographer,
recently deceased). Rana, aged 31, lives in Cairo, the megalopolis with
more than 15 million inhabitants, and she wanted to address the topic
of over-urbanization by portraying women on Cairo subway with a medium
Ulrich-Bodney MAHOUNGOU, from Congo, won the prize as best young
photographer with some pictures about the civil war in her country during
Fatoumata DIABATE, aged 25, another young photographer
living in Bamako, Mali, won the Prize AFFA (Afrique en creation) for
her beautiful pictures B/W about Tuareg people living in Timbuktu area.
Lien BOTHA, from Cape Town (South Africa), aged 44 (www.lienbotha.co.za),
presented Safari, pictures of her country, including graphic
MAZMOUZ, a Moroccan photographer living in Saint-Denis (France),
presented pictures with blonde dolls inside cages or hung out as washing.
Malala ANDRIALAVIDRAZANA, born in Madagascar
in 1971 and living in Paris (France), presented a reportage made in
2003 about cemeteries around the world from a selection of more than
7000 images shot in South America, Asia and Australia, named dOutre-Monde.
Fragments about women stories had been narrated by some photographers,
such as:Gisèle DIDI, Tunisian, born
in 1970 and living in France (www.giseledidi.com),
whose slogan is intimacy, femininity, identity, loneliness, life;
the Franco/Tunisian Patricia K. TRIKI,
living in Tunis, who presented a series of pictures named VORTEX:
a mix of pictures of bodies, faces and words and
Sarah SADKI, an Algerian photographer living in Belfort, France,
who uses mixed media beyond photography.
Nigerian living in Leeds (UK), presented pictures about daily life in
Africa as the one which hangs out washing in the street.
Also another Nigerian woman photographer, Zaynab
Toyosi ODUNSI, aged 31, was included in the International Ehibition.
The ones who participated to the Exhibition of Plastic Photography
Jane ALEXANDER, living in Cape
Town (South Africa), aged 52, presented pictures populated by freak
creatures, a mixture between men and animals - something really distressing.
Pascale Martine TAYOU (Camerun), aged 38,
lives and works in Bruxelles (Belgium). Self-taught photographer, she
started to expose in 1994. She is very well known for her assemblages,
drawings, installations and texts, whose raw materials is made of the
rubbish of our society.
Moataz NASR from Alexandria (Egypt). Born
in 1961, Moataz also realizes installations, paintings, pictures, videos
For the Algerian National Exhibit, named Les facts, les effects
(Facts and effects):
Zohra BENSEMRA, Algerian photojournalist
for Reuters Agency, LObservateur, and El Wattam won the Prize
for the best reportage with pictures about events in Algeria during
90s (as you can see in her rich website www.bensemra.com).
Nadia Ferroukhi , born by an Algerian father
and a Czech mother, spent a gipsy childhood, travelling in many countries.
Once she became a photo-reporter, she never stopped to travel. She participated
in St. Denis, in the suburbs of Paris, to the project LABO PHOTO and
portrayed, together with other African photographers living there, the
way of life of African people in this area.
Farida Hamak, Algerian free-lance photojournalist
about politic events in France and in the Arab world since 1990, has
been for many years war correspondent from Beirut (Lebanon) for Newsweek.
Her most important work is « Ma mère, histoire dune
immigration » (a photographic work about the evolution of an Algerian
woman in the society during 15 years).
Ammi, another young photojournalist living and working in
Algeria, documented the event of her country.
As participants of Spain, guest country of this edition:
Bleda y Rosa,( Maria
Bleda and Josè Maria Rosa, who have worked together since
1990), Marisa Gonzales, and Cristina
WIPI Thanks Patrizia Pulga, WIPI PRO Member for bringing us this
wonderful story about Women Photographers from Africa, her time, effort and devotion
to women's work is very appreiciated.
PULGA, bologna, italy