Workshop combines photography with traditional art of painting

December 2003 -

From 20 October through 20 November the 5th Recontres de la Photographie Africaine was held in Bamako, Mali. One of the participants in this biennial was the Centre Soleil d'Afrique, partner in RAIN (RAIN Artists' Initiatives Network), with its exposition BOGA-DIA. This exposition was compiled of works of art made during a workshop in Centre Soleil d'Afrique.

The workshop was presented by Narcisse Tordoir, artist and counsellor at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, in cooperation with Malinese photographer Alioune Bâ and a number of Bogolan artists from the Centre Soleil d'Afrique. During the workshop, African artists form Mali, Togo and Benin worked together with artists and photographers from the Netherlands, Argentina and Turkey.


Painting by Banu Cennetoglu, Turkey

Bogolan is a traditional Malinese painting technique that is strongly related to social life in Mali. The symbolic hieroglyphs that are painted with natural pigments on textiles (clothing, for example) tell about the situation of the person who is wearing or who owns the piece.

Graphic techniques and photographic images were introduced during the workshop which were then transformed from modern photographic images to traditional Bogolan works of art. Using projections, collages and computer manipulated and modified images, the artists created Bogolan pieces. For the Western artists this was a new technique; for the African artists new concepts, images and associations were used.

Pinque Bueters is RAIN coordinator