Steidl, 2007 First edition Softcover, 168 pages, 250 x 325 mm Condition: Fine
Malick Sidibé opened his photo studio right after Mali's independence from France in 1960. He was highly sought after to photograph all the happening events and ceremonies in the country's capital Bamako, such as football matches, weddings, Christmas Eve celebrations and club parties. Sidibé focused on the explosion of youth culture and its post-colonial euphoria. His photographs uniquely convey the atmosphere and vitality in a period of tremendous cultural change. Malian independence brought not only a whiff of liberty, but also dreams of western society. Bamako's youth started blending African and western cultures in dances like the Mali Twist and in curious combinations of traditional and European fashion.
Sidibé photographed up to five reports in just one night before returning to the lab to develop the negatives. He would then display on the studio walls numbered index prints which were glued on administrative folders. These are the "chemises" reproduced in this book. In the following days, people from these parties came to look at the folders and select the photos they wanted to purchase.
As an invaluable testimony of 1960s Mali, and as a large portion of Sidibé's oeuvre, Chemises is an essential document on contemporary African photography.
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