Seydou Keïta Photographer

Seydou Keïta – Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris, France

from 05/05/2023 to 15/07/2023

Galerie Nathalie Obadia presents its fourth exhibition devoted to Seydou Keïta (c. 1921-2001), who is considered to be one of West Africa’s most influential photographers. This exhibition brings together an exhaustive selection of works of this self-taught artist, whose rise to fame started off in a small studio in Bamako (Mali), which at the time was the capital of former French Sudan. The inventiveness of the mise en scene, the modernity of the photographs and the fresh approach to the subjects photographed, made Keïta a celebrity in his own country: thousands of Malians and travelers from West Africa came to have their photographs taken by Seydou Keïta between 1948 and 1962. Keïta retired in 1977 after having been the official photographer of Mali, which became independent in 1960. These photographs are an important record of Malian society’s evolution at the end of the colonial period. In other times, the subjects would have considered as anthropological exhibits, but here they have regained their identities, taking their rightful place at the heart of each work. These photographs have become archival documents and exceptional documentary sources concerning a period that marked a turning point in West African history.

Link to the exhibition website