Prize winners were announced today for the 11th Rencontres de Bamako, the Malian biennial dedicated to contemporary photography and image making in Africa. South African Athi-Patra Ruga won top honors, taking home the €5,000 Seydou Keïta Prize, with other awards going to French-born Julien Creuzet, Algerian Fethi Sahraoui, Gabrielle Goliath from South Africa, and Mali-based Moïse Togo.
Ruga is known for work that centers on the figure of black femmes, often combining multiple mediums including tapestry and performance. Creuzet, who was awarded €3,000 and support for his next project by the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, creates installations of found objects and photographs that explore his Caribbean heritage. Fethi Sahraoui, who received a €2,000 prize, is a self-taught photographer who uses his iPhone to tell stories about life in urban Algeria. Johannesburg-based Goliath received €1,500 to continue her work focused on tackling issues around violence against women. Togo, a student at the Bamako Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers Multimédia, received a two-year scholarship to study at the National Studio for Contemporary Arts in Tourcoing.
Four of the five winners were selected by a jury comprising Koyo Kouoh, founder of Senegal’s Raw Material Company; Ingrid Masondo, a photography curator at the Iziko South African National Gallery; Emeka Ogboh, Nigerian-based co-founder of the Video Art Network (VAN); and Moussa Ouane, a Malian filmmaker and former general director of the Malian National Cinematography Centre.