Seydou Keïta

Seydou Keïta (Malian, 1921–2001), is considered to be one of the important pioneers of African photography. His photographs eloquently portray Bamako society during its era of transition from a cosmopolitan French colony to an independent capital. Initially trained by his father to be a carpenter, Keïta’s career as a photographer was launched in 1935 by an uncle who gave him his first camera. In 1948 he opened his own studio, quickly establishing a successful business. Whether photographing individuals, families, or professional associations, Keïta balanced a strict sense of formality with a remarkable level of intimacy with his subjects.

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