EYE CANDY

Step Back Into the Streets and Clubs of 70’s Mali with Malick Sidibé

From the dimly lit nightclubs to the Niger River, there was hardly a side of his native and newly independent Mali that Malick Sidibé didn’t capture in the 60’s and 70’s, when he was the only photographer roaming the dance floors whose camera had a flash. Those black-and-white photos soon carried Sidibé’s cult following well past Bamako, and made for a flood of impromptu tributes when he passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. Now, his legacy’s gotten an institution-level homage, too: “Malick Sidibé: The Eye of Modern Mali” marks the photographer’s first major solo exhibit in the U.K., and even has the halls of London’s Somerset House playing the Malaian music that first got Sidibé on his feet. Revisit those exuberant early days, here.

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© Malick Sidibé. Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris

“A la plage,” 1974.

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© Malick Sidibé. Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris

“A moi seul,” 1978.

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© Malick Sidibé. Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris

“Combat des amis avec pierres,” 1976.

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© Malick Sidibé. Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris

“Dansez le Twist,” 1965.

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© Malick Sidibé. Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris

“Les Retrouvailles au bord du fleuve Niger,” 1974.

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© Malick Sidibé. Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris

“Danseur Meringué,” 1964.

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© Malick Sidibé. Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris

“Du thé à la plage,” 1976.

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© Malick Sidibé. Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris

“Nuit de Noël (Happy Club),” 1963.

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© Malick Sidibé. Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris

“Un Yé-yé en position,” 1963.

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© Malick Sidibé. Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris

“Nuit du 31 Décembre,” 1969.