African artists revive Mali's African Biennial after radical islamist take over

By Henri Neuendorf
Aboubacar Traore Inch'Allah (2015) Photo:
MALI---After a forced four year hiatus due to political instability and war, the African Biennale of Photography Bamako Encounters—one of Africa's key cultural events—is back for its 10th edition. Aboubacar TraorĂ©'s Inch'Allah series (2015) for instance depicts subjects wearing a large black sphere on their heads. The photographer explains the images represent how religious ideology blinds people. “With that on your head, you can't think and you can't see, you are bound to kill yourself and other people," he said. When radical islamists took over northern Mali in 2012 they quickly implemented a ban on television and music. “I don't think they mentioned photography specifically, but they banned any representation of reality that is not by God," TraorĂ© explained. [link]