Young photographers in Mali capture public imagination

News overview

Photography collective Yamarou-photo is building a creative network centring on photography in Mali. With a broad programme of activities, they give young people – especially young women – future prospects in a country in crisis. With DOEN’s support, Yamarou-photo will be able to maintain its significance for young people in Mali in the future.

Hope in a hopeless situation

Mali has been in the throes of a deep security, humanitarian, economic and political crisis for many years. Since 2018, Yamarou-photo – headed up by photographer and general director Seydou Camara – has been offering young people in the country hope in a hopeless situation. The photography collective gives young photographers an opportunity to share their stories and create work that stimulates the imagination and challenges the audience to go beyond thinking in existing frameworks. They do so through a variety of activities, from intensive photographic training and workshops to exhibitions.

Radical imagination as a foundation for the future

In the coming years, the focus for Yamarou-photo will be on building a solid foundation to create meaningful change. DOEN Foundation has expressed its confidence in the form of a new three-year funding initiative. Where DOEN’s previous support fuelled a successful pilot project, the new funding will enable Yamarou-photo to build a foundation upon which it can embrace a broader group of people in society. Yamarou will focus on:

  • Literally bringing photography to the people by organising exhibitions in public spaces, schools, women’s prisons, psychiatric institutions and orphanages;
  • Sharing its working methods outside Bamako, giving more photographers an opportunity to make their mark;
  • Organising more activities, such as a series of debates and lectures and organising an award for up-and-coming photographic talent.

International attention

The photography collective’s work also features increasingly across Europe. Earlier this year, they appeared in Germany with a mobile photo studio at the most important event in the field of contemporary, visual art: Documenta15. And last September, Yamarou participated in Breda Photo, a festival supported by the Friends Lottery Fund.