Time - 100 Photographs - The Most Influential Images of All Time - USA (2019)

(Antfer) #1


Malian photographer Malick Sidibé’s life followed
the trajectory of his nation. He started out herding his
family’s goats, then trained in jewelry making, painting
and photography. As French colonial rule ended in 1960,
he captured the subtle and profound changes reshaping
his country. Nicknamed the Eye of Bamako, Sidibé took
thousands of photos that became a real-time chronicle of
the euphoric zeitgeist gripping the capital, a document
of a fleeting moment. “Everyone had to have the latest
Paris style,” he observed of young people wearing flashy
clothes, straddling Vespas and nuzzling in public as they

embraced a world without shackles. On Christmas Eve in
1963, Sidibé happened on a young couple at a club, lost
in each other’s eyes. What Sidibé called his “talent to ob-
serve” allowed him to capture their quiet intimacy, heads
brushing as they grace an empty dance floor. “We were
entering a new era, and people wanted to dance,” Sidibé
said. “Music freed us. Suddenly, young men could get close
to young women, hold them in their hands. Before, it was
not allowed. And everyone wanted to be photographed
dancing up close.”

NUIT DE NOËL (HAPPY CLUB) Malick Sidibé, 1963

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