From independent Mali to party Mali, “the eye of Bamako” saw everything
Nicknamed “the eye of Bamako” he quickly became a key figure in the city and indeed throughout the country. He caught everyone on film, covering christenings, weddings, proms and village fetes, driven by his desire to immortalise the effervescence and insouciance of a youth revelling in its independence. From surprise parties to after parties, Malick Sidibé took countless portraits of young people sporting western clothes, rivalling each other in elegance and garb. Some of his shots, often in black and white like that of the dancing couple entitled “Nuit de noël” [Christmas Night] and “Danser le twist”, capture the emergence of foreign music, “a liberating music” as he described it. He was finally granted international recognition with an exhibition organised by the Cartier Foundation in Paris in 1995 entitled, “Bamako”.