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Malick Sidibe Photographer from Mali Tribute of the Eye of Bamako.

Known as the Eye of Bamako, Malick Sidibé took photos in dance halls, soirees and his studio. The largest ever exhibition of his work, on display at the Fondation Cartier in Paris until the end of February, includes images taken in the years after Mali’s independence from France in 1960.

Malick Sidibé (born 1936 – April 14, 2016) was a Malian photographer noted for his black-and -white studies of popular culture in the 1960s in Bamako.During his life, Sidibé gained an international reputation and was considered, along with Seydou Keïta, to be Mali’s most famous photographer.

Malick SIDIBE work

His work was the subject of a number of publications and exhibited throughout Europe and the United States.
In 2007, he received a Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement at Venice Biennale, becoming both the first photographer and the first African so recognized.
Other awards he received included a Hasselblad Award for photography, an International Center of Photography Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a World Press Photo award.
Sidibé’s work is held in the collections of The Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC), the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


In memory of Malick-SIDBE – Portrait of a photographer – DN-AFRICA / Studio 24 Nigeria – Copyright Malick SIDBE

Malick Sidibé career

Malick Sidibé began his career in a traditional way in Africa, namely as assistant to a French photographer living in Bamako. At the end of the 1950s, the photo-souvenir market developed and it will cover the many evenings organized by the middle class of Bamako. Shortly after independence in 1960, he opened his own studio, the « Studio Malick », and quickly met with great success.

The Studio Sidibé

The commercial studio portrait will be the bulk of Malick Sidibé’s work.
His clientele remains young, and comes largely from Bagadadji, a popular neighborhood where his studio is located
The studio portraits of Malick Sidibé keep the spontaneity of his reports that have made his reputation throughout the capital.
They are very far from the very static Western photographic portraits of the same period. Rather than sitting, or being represented as a bust, the model seems to play a role, to embody a character. A lot of freedom seems to have been granted by the photographer. The unusual then arises sometimes from incongruous poses, artificial postures.


Copyright Malick SIDBE for INDIE MAGAZINE – DN-AFRICA / Studio 24 Nigeria


Copyright Malick SIDBE – Portrait of INNA MODJA – DN-AFRICA / Studio 24 Nigeria




Copyright Malick SIDBE – Mademoiselle Kadiatou Toure  »Avec mes verres fumes 1969 – DN-AFRICA / Studio 24 Nigeria

Cartier Foundation for Contempory Art

In 1995, the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art presented the first solo exhibition of Malian photographer Malick Sidibé outside the African continent.
One year after the artist’s death on April 14, 2016, she pays tribute to him with Mali Twist, a major retrospective exhibition accompanied by a book, designed and directed by André Magnin in collaboration with Brigitte Ollier.

Mali Twist Exibition

Next to iconic works, the exhibition offers for the first time a vast collection of vintage photographs and unpublished portraits of timeless beauty.
Real dive into the life of « the eye of Bamako », these exceptional shots in black and white reveal how Malick Sidibé was able to seize, from the beginning of the 1960s, the vitality of the Bamako youth.

The title of the exhibition, Mali Twist, refers to the eponymous song by Malian singer and guitarist Boubacar Traoré, released in 1963.


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