Malick Sidibé

Born into a Fulani family in Soloba, a small village in Mali near the Guinean border, Malick Sidibé (1935-2016) was the only child of the family who went to school. Renowned for his talent for drawing, he was admitted to the École des Artisans Soudanais of Bamako, graduating in 1955. He made his first forays into photography alongside Gérard Guillat, nicknamed “Gégé the Pellicule”, and opened the Malick Studio in 1962 in the neighbourhood of Bagadadji, in the heart of Bamako. He subsequently became involved in the cultural and social life of the capital, which had been flourishing since its independence. Very popular with young people, Malick Sidibé was present at all the evening parties where they were discovering the dances from Europe and Cuba, dressing in Western fashions and vying for the most elegant looks. From his local reporting, Sidibé brought back simple images brimming with honesty and complicity.


His work was first exhibited outside of Mali in a solo show at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris, in 1995. Numerous exhibitions then followed worldwide including the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (1999), the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (2001), and the Musée Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saône (2009). Malick Sidibé has received several awards including the Hasselblad Prize in 2003, the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion in 2007, the International Center of Photography Infinity Award for this entire career in 2008 and the PhotoEspaña Award in 2009. 

Mali Twist


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