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Curatorial Advisory Committee for the 11th edition of Bamako Encounters

Sammy BALOJI
Artist and Co-founder of the Picha Encounters - Biennale of Lubumbashi, DRC
© Dieter Telemans - Sammy Baloji
 
Sammy Baloji was born in Lubumbashi, in the mineral-rich Katanga province of Democratic Republic of Congo. He studied Computer and Information Sciences and Communication at the University of Lubumbashi. With a borrowed camera, he began photographing scenes as sources for his cartoons. He soon enrolled in photography courses in DRC.
Raised in Lubumbashi, Sammy Baloji was sensitized to the colonial history and the postcolonial decline of the once-prosperous mining region of DRC, which Chinese companies exploit today.
He juxtaposes photographic realities, combining past and present, the real and the ideal, to illicit glaring cultural and historical tensions. He explores architecture and the human body as traces of social history, sites of memory, and witnesses to operations of power.
In 2008, he co-founded the Picha Encounters, a biennale dedicated to photography and video art which takes place in Lubumbashi.
 

 
 
Olfa FEKI
Architect, independent Curator/Consultant and Regional Representative in Europe/North Africa of the agency NOOR images, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
© Zied Ben Romdhane - Olfa Feki
 
Olfa Feki’s interest in photography started when she was still studying architecture. She has moved from promoting photography on a national scale by co-founding the platform Shutter Party, to an international scale through collaborations with international institutions and foundations such as World Press Photo, the Magnum agency, NOOR Images, the Arab world institute, the Goethe institute, the Institut Français…
She also co-founded La Maison de l’Image in Tunisia, first and sole institution dedicated to the image where she organized multiple workshops talks and exhibitions with international artists, and that she managed till 2015. Hereafter, she moved to Egypt to manage the Biennale of Contemporary Art 2015 / Something Else, with Simon Njami as main curator and eight other international curators.
Olfa Feki went from representing artists to jury member as well as producing documentaries and photo essays and curating exhibitions in worldwide galleries and in festivals such as World Nomads New York 2013, Dak’art 2014, Something Else Cairo 2015 and the 2017 Biennale of photographers of the contemporary Arab World at the IMA and the MEP, in Paris.
Among her upcoming projects in Tunisia features #Kerkennah01, the first edition of a photography and multimedia festival which will be curated by several international curators.
 

 


 
 
Rebecca LAMARCHE-VADEL
Curator at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
 © Thomas Jeppe – Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel
 
Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel is Curator at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Her recent projects include Tino Sehgal's Carte Blanche (2016), Marguerite Humeau’s exhibition FOXP2 at the Palais de Tokyo (2016) and Nottingham Contemporary (Great Britain, 2016), as well as the Bastards exhibitions by Ed Atkins (2014), Mo'Swallow by David Douard (2014), Evian Disease by Helen Marten (2013). In 2015, she curated the exhibition Le bord des mondes, bringing together twenty-five creators from all over the world around the extension of the territories of art, following artist Marcel Duchamp’s question : " Can one make works which are not works of art? ".
Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel has also collaborated on several occasions with international institutions, through performing programs at MoMa PS1 (New York), 72 hours of truce: exploring immediate signs (2013) and Bright intervals (2014), the exhibition Landscape by Fouad Bouchoucha with the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam) and Trouw (2014) or Unfinished Presents in resonance with the Biennale de Lyon (2013). She is currently preparing the carte blanche for Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno to be held at the Palais de Tokyo in October 2018.
 

 


 
 
Lekgetho James MAKOLA
Artist, Filmmaker and Head of the Market Photo Workshop, Johannesburg, South Africa
© Phumzile Khanyile - Lekgetho James Makola
 
Lekgetho James Makola was born in Ga-Sekhukhune, Limpopo, South Africa. He owns a Fine Art degree (1999) from Durban University of Technology in South Africa. He worked in museums and art galleries for over 10 years, including community arts and culture outreach activities. He held a senior management position overseeing the heritage conservation and research at the Robben Island Museum, World Heritage site that included the critical anti-apartheid photography collection at Mayibuye Archives.
He is an International Ford Foundation Fellow on Social Justice (2009) and a Graduate of Howard University, Washington DC, USA, with a MFA in Film Studies (2013). In March 2012, he co-founded Kali TV, an independent online media organization based in the USA whose mission is to engage, inform and entertain viewers with news about Africans in the diaspora through images.
Lekgetho James Makola is currently the Head of highly vibrant and well-acknowledged photography institution Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, an organization he joined in 2013 as Manager of Programmes and Projects.
 

 
 
Aida MULUNEH
Artist, Founder/Managing director of Addis Foto Fest and DESTA For Africa Creative Consulting PLC (DFA), Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia
© Aron Simeneh – Aida Muluneh
 
Born in Ethiopia in 1974, Aida Muluneh spent her childhood between Yemen and England. After a boarding school in Cyprus, she settled in Canada in 1985. In 2000, she graduated from the Communication Department with a major in Film from Howard University, Washington DC, USA. She then worked as a photojournalist at the Washington Post and contributed to several international publications.
Her artworks have been shown throughout the world and can be found in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, Hood Museum and the Museum of Biblical Art in the United States. She is the 2007 recipient of the European Union Prize in the Bamako Encounters, as well as the 2010 winner of the CRAF International Award of Photography.
As a leading expert on photography from Africa, she has been a jury member on several competitions, most notably the Sony World Photography Awards 2017 and the World Press Photo Contest 2017. She has also been on various panel discussions in events such as the African Union cultural summit, Art Basel and Tedx/Johannesburg.
She founded and manages Addis Foto Fest (AFF), the first international photography festival in East Africa hosted since 2010 in Addis Ababa. She educates, curates and develops cultural projects with local and international institutions through her company DESTA (Developing and Educating Society Through Art) For Africa Creative Consulting PLC (DFA).
 

 
 
Azu NWAGBOGU
Nigeria, Director/Editor-in-Chief of Art Base Africa and Curator
© Paul Odigie – Azu Nwagbogu
 
Azu Nwagbogu is the Director of the African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), a non-profit organization based in Lagos that he founded in 2007. He also manages of LagosPhoto, an annual international festival of art and photography that he founded in 2010. Additionally, he is the Director and Editor-in-Chief of Art Base Africa, an online journal that focuses on contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora.
He has curated numerous exhibitions internationally, including Dey Your Lane! Lagos Variations at BOZAR (Brussels, Belgium) in 2016, Tomorrows/Today co-curated with Ruth Simbao at the Cape Town Art Fair (Cape Town, South Africa) in 2016, and Tear My Bra at Rencontres d’Arles (Arles, France), in 2016. He is Curator-at-Large for photography at the Zeitz MOCAA Museum in Cape Town.
Azu Nwagbogu has also contributed texts to several publications, including the Martin Roemers: Metropolis, Berlin, Germany, Hatje Cantz, 2015, Hââbré, The Last Generation by Joana Choumali and Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany, 2015.
He is a Juror for Contemporary African Photography Award (CAP), and has served as a juror for the World Press Photo, Prisma photography award (2015), Greenpeace Photo Award (2016) and several other art and photography related prizes.