Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris via The Guardian]
Blind in one eye from childhood Malick Sidibé started out in the jewellery trade, before taking up an apprenticeship with one of Bamako’s leading society photographer. Opening the doors to his studio, Studio Malick in 1958 in Mali’s capital city, Bamako, Sidibé started out as a roving photographer riding his bike through the city, stopping to take images of party-goers resplendent in their best threads as they headed out for nights on the town and getting down on the dance floors of the many parties and nightclubs that popped up all over the city.
The ’70s saw an increase in his studio portraiture. Having adopted a more informal, playful approach to studio photography than what was currently practiced at the time Studio Malick became popular with the city’s youth as a place where creative narratives in a world of make-believe could be played out and captured for posterity on film. Decades later Malick Sidibé’s images have given us something to treasure, a window into an era and the lives of those who were there to witness and be a part of it.
Photograph: © Malick Sidibé Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris via The Guardian]
For further information about the exhibition at Somerset House visit: www.somersethouse.org.uk