Collection in Focus: Malick Sidibé

Malick Sidibé (1936–2016) opened his studio in Bamako, the capital city of Mali, around the time the nation gained independence following French colonial rule. His photographs show modern West African life and are often described as depicting postcolonial euphoria.

From the late-1950s through the mid-1970s, Sidibé photographed social events, including weddings, baptisms, and the city’s vibrant nightlife. This chemise (or folder)—a recent acquisition to the collection—features fourteen photographs taken the night of January 22nd 1966.

Malick Sidibé (1936-2016), Chemise, 1966, Gelatin silver prints on paper. Gift of Michael Rips.