PRO Member Patrizia Pulga Tribute 

HOMAGE 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

African women photographers’s 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 Exhibition:

Helga KOHL, 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” .

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 size camera.

Ulrich-Bodney MAHOUNGOU
, from Congo, won the prize as best young photographer with some pictures about the civil war in her country during the 90s.

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.

, from Cape Town (South Africa), aged 44 (, presented “Safari”, pictures of her country, including graphic interferences.

Fatima 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 “d’Outre-Monde”.

Fragments about women’ stories had been narrated by some photographers,
such as:Gisèle DIDI, Tunisian, born in 1970 and living in France (, 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.

Bukkie OPEBIYI, 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 were:

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 and sculptures.

For the Algerian National Exhibit, named “Les facts, les effects” (Facts and effects):
Zohra BENSEMRA, Algerian photojournalist for Reuters Agency, L’Observateur, 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

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 d’une immigration » (a photographic work about the evolution of an Algerian woman in the society during 15 years).

Louiza 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 Garcia Rodero.

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.

 PATRIZIA PULGA, bologna, italy

f2 President's Letter seminars WIPINews Industry News Gallery Highlights
Marketing News Book Review Workshops Competitions & Awards Classified