VOYAGEUR / ALMANAC
BAMAKO ENOUNTERS / RENCONTRES DE BAMAKO
La Biennale Africaine de la Photographie,
December 12 - February 08 2023 - Bamako, Mali
Installation view of works by Anna Binta Diallo, both 2022. Photo by Photp by Tobi Onabolu.
Developed over the past two years, the works within Voyageur/Almanacs expand on Diallo’s interest in folklore and extend it into our ecological surroundings.
Human beings have long used story-telling and folklore as a way to assign meaning and impose order on an otherwise chaotic world. For Diallo, interrogating these stories is an opportunity to question their fundamental nature – why they exist, how they’ve been constructed and told, and how they’ve ultimately shaped our world. In doing so, she raises questions regarding memory, identity, migration, personal and collective mythologies, as well as the relationship between language and history.
In Voyageur/Almanacs, Diallo expands this investigation into the ecological world, examining the ways in which humans have attempted to comprehend and exert control over the natural environment. Taking the form of large scale, immersive installation, the works within Voyageur/Almanacs, combine human and geometric forms with various scientific and ecological elements. Drawing from a wide set of references – spanning geography, earth sciences, landscape, and weather patterns, these hybridized figures seem to exist somewhere outside of the natural constructs of space and time. They appear simultaneously both futuristic, yet are firmly rooted in history. Through this, the works in Voyageur/Almanacs offer a space of possibility – one in which to slow down and re-imagine how we might move towards a more symbiotic relationship with the natural world.
Anna Binta Diallo would like to thank The Canada Council For The Arts and the Barbara Spohr Memorial Award offered by the Walter Phillips Gallery for their financial support of this work.
Further reading Artnews.net
An African Photography Biennale Makes a Case for Mali as a Creative Hub—But the Global Art World’s Bad Habits May Hold It Back