Malick Sidibé – Chemises at Foam.

The Three Well-Clad Gentlemen [Les trios gentlemen bien en veste], February 1965© Malick Sidibé.

Foam is one of my favourite places to go to, you can easily leave me there for a couple of hours. Unfortunately I haven’t been there in a while and it’s about time to see what they’re serving on their photography menu. So I looked up the latest exhibitions on their site and came across Chemise by Malick Sidibé. He started as a party photographer back in the sixties and snapped shots of all the “happening events”. All those black & white pictures, j’aime, j’aime beaucoup.  

More information about Malick Sidibé under the cut…

Malick Sidibé was born in 1935 at Soloba, near Bamako (Mali). When Malick set up his business in 1962 he quickly became famous and was sought after for all the happening events and ceremonies in Mali, including football matches, weddings, Christmas Eve celebrations etc. Striking where the surprise parties he photographed, thrown by groups of youths belonging to “clubs”, named mainly after their idols and after the records of Western music (Los Cubanos, Les Caïds, Les Las Vegas, etc.) which just started being sold in Bamako. Malick sometimes did up to five reports in one night before returning to the lab to develop the negatives and display the index prints for the party guests that came around to select the photos they wanted to buy. In the mid-seventies, Malick shifted his activity to studio portraits and camera repairs, but there are still over a 1000 folders of this type. Some of them are already part of private collections but most still remain neatly piled in a corner of Studio Malick in Bamako. They are a unique testimony to the Malian society of those years.

Malick Sidibé – Chemises
13 June – 15 October 2008
Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam
Keizersgracht 609
1017 DS Amsterdam
Open daily from 10am to 6pm, thu/fri 10am to 9pm. 
Closed: jan 1th, 30 April (Queensday)

Foam can be reached by tram: 16,24, 25 stop ‘Keizersgracht’. Or check

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