The Institut français, in conjunction with Mali’s Ministry of Culture, is delighted to be opening this 11th biennale. Its title – Afrotopia – calls for a common future in which African creativity is paramount. By referring to the eponymous work of Felwine Sarr, the Senegalese economist and writer, curator Marie-Ann Yemsi evokes the theme of this Pan-African event, giving it the ring of a manifesto.
This edition, which she has prepared with the active involvement of six curatorial advisors, is deeply rooted in the transformations of an Africa in a perpetual state of renewal, an Africa facing a future that it is building based on its own experiences. The recognition of creativity and the assertion of independence and freedom are more important than ever in these troubled times of extremism. Violent actions and upheavals can lead to regression and entrapment in chains of consequences that are not innately African. Holding this biennale in Bamako is thus crucial if culture is to be established at the core of social projects. They are particularly delighted that it has been able to make a full comeback after celebrating the 10th edition in 2015.
© Zied Ben Romdhane, West of Life, 2014-2016 (Tunisie)