“It’s a world, someone’s face. When I capture it, I see the future of the world,” revealed the legendary Malian photographer Malick Sidibé (1936–2016). Indeed, Sidibé captured the future as it came into its own, chronicling the beauty and spirit of the people of his native land right as the country won its independence from France in 1960, after nearly a century of colonial exploitation and oppression.
Born in the village of Soloba, Sidibé was the first member of his family to attend school. Here, the boy who began life herding animals and working the land, found himself drawn to art, becoming masterful. By high school, he was doing charcoal drawings for official events and his talents were soon recognized by the Institut National des Arts de Bamako, in the nation’s capital.
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Photo: Malick Sidibé, Dansez le Twist, 1965, Papier : 120 x 120 cm, Édition illimitée courtesy Magnin-A, Paris © Malick Sidibé Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris.