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24. Malick Sidibé, Un jeune gentleman, 1978
"Un jeune gentleman", 1978 © Malick SidibéCourtesy Magnin-A

Previously unseen Malick Sidibé photographs go on display

A year on from the photographer’s passing, a new exhibition unveils never-before-seen images from the Malian native’s archives

It is only right that the first international gallery to exhibit and recognise Malick Sidibé’s vibrant work in 1995 – the Fondation Cartier in Paris – is also the first to display the photographic gems uncovered in his archives following the photographer’s regrettable passing last year.

This new, large-scale retrospective entitled, Mali Twist, features over 250 photographs, including vintage prints developed by Sibidé himself, many of which are yet unseen. The exhibition focuses on Sidibé’s most fertile period – the early 60s to the mid-80s – in which he became known as “the eye of Bamako” for his keen enthusiasm in documenting the swinging nightlife and youth culture of the era. The photographer’s pictures capture that pure, childish joy we’ve all experienced in dancing, socialising and sharing in one another’s company.

To celebrate the convivial spirit embodied by Sidibé’s photographs, the gallery has announced a new series of the long-running event, Nomadic Nights, explaining, “Malian artists, musicians and thinkers will be invited to dialogue with Malick Sidibé’s work.” The exhibition’s accompanying evening will be brought to life as visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the cultural climate – the concerts, parties, music and dance – that inspired the original photographs.

Mali Twist runs at Fondation Cartier until 25 February 2018