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Intelligence Malick Sidibé

Having an office in Covent Garden has its ups and downs. Sure, the masses of tourists invading the Piazza makes buying Pret a Manger’s Wild Crayfish & Rocket somewhat perilous but in reality, you’re exceptionally close to interesting things. One of these interesting things is the grand and fabulous Somerset House. After a quick jaunt down to the river bank where Somerset House resides, I found myself in the Terrace Rooms enjoying the exhibition on the Malian photographer Malick Sidibé.

I must admit that I was culpable of complete ignorance of his work but quickly came to see the quality he possessed. Whilst his skill was evident, his prowess had been internationally recognised and led to him becoming a winner of prestigious prizes like the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2007. One thing that stands out immediately from his photography is the youthful energy and vibrancy of the individuals that he has captured. The three rooms of exhibition present 45 prints behind 3 themes: Nightlife in Bamako, Beside the Niger River and The Studio. Accompanying the exhibition is a soundtrack of music that would have been playing at the times that Sidibé captured these images. It gives the images some nice context, as well as, a couple of songs to shazam for later. I really enjoyed getting a brief glimpse into the nightclub scene of Mali in the 60’s and 70’s. Sidibé’s work brings out character of the individuals featured and I’ll certainly be looking out for more of his work.

Posted by
Max Siteman