Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The above photos are by Malian photographer Seydou Keita.

Born in Bomako Mali, in 1920, Seydou Keita began his career as a photographer in 1945. Working primarily in black and white Keita’s studio soon became famous throughout Mali. Wealthy visitors would frequently arrive from all over Mali in order to have their pictures taken. Included in Seydou Keita’s customers was Modibo Keita, Mali’s first president after independence.

Seydou Keita’s work captures both the creeping influence of Western society on Mali alongside the more traditional aspects of the native culture.

Keita was forced in 1962 into serving as official photographer for the Malian Security Services. Initially he was told that he cold keep his studio open but was later forced to close it down.

When he retired in 1977 Seydou Keita returned to his studio only to discover that it had been robbed, fortunately however over 10,000 photographic negatives remained intact. Keita however could not afford either a large camera or processing equipment in order to continue his work.

Seydou Keita’s work was re-discovered in 1994 when French photographer Françoise Huguier was working in Bamako. Her camera was in need of repair and so she visited local photographer Malick Sidibé studio for help. Here she noticed some pictures of Keita on Sidibé’s studio wall. At the time Huguier was organising the the 'First African Photography Festival' in Bamako where she included pictures by Seydou Keita.

Shortly before his death, in 2001, Seydou Keïta established the Seydou Keïta foundation in Bamako.

A selection of pictures by Seydou Keita are currently on exhibition in the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Trinity College Dublin.

Fascinating stuff. Do you know if this exhibition will be travelling Westward at all?
Hey Brendan,

As far as I know unfortunately there are no plans for the exhibition to travel outside of Dublin. Mores the pity.
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Technorati Profile