Les Rencontres de Bamako African Biennale of Photography Announces 2017 Prize Winners

Athi-Patra Ruga, The Night of the Long Knives III, 2014, archival ink-jet print on Photorag Baryta.


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.

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