Anyone who has the superb Pirate’s Choice reissue by Orchestra Baobab will immediately recognise the work of Malick Sidibé. André Magnin has edited a definitive selection of photos in this Scalo hardback.
Malick Sidibé from Mali created some of the funkiest photography known to man bar none in his studio in Bamako. Subjects would bring in objects that they felt defined them. Often a favourite record, sometimes a scooter and always the grooviest threads they lay their hands on. These posed photos display a wonderful tension between the stiltedness of the official photo and the obvious vibe he had going in there.
Malick would work till about 10 or 11PM and then take his camera out to clubs and functions, capturing the vibrancy of a scene which mixed Malian,
Black American and Latin influences in clothes and music to create a wonderfully colourful and distinct culture. Wonderful portraits of young people in groups hanging out by the river or messing around complete this amazing portrait of a place in time.
Apparently, you can still go to Bamako and get your portrait done by Malick Sidibé! One more reason to buy the book is a great four track CD by fellow Malian Boubacar Traoré.
Published by Scalo
Malick Sidib?© Feature on Fly
Malick Sidib?© on Flykr