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Arts, Photography

African women through the lens of Seydou Keita

A Moorish woman from Northern Mali lying on her elbow next to her companion on a prayer rug. She is wearing a traditional bright blue robe (koymeeti) and a large necklace with tassles around her neck. Her hair is arranged in he form of a helmet decorated with sliver ornament.

Seydou Keita was a self-taught Malian photographer specialized in Portraits. His work focuses on  Malian society during the  transmutation from a French colony to a sovereign state. His career started in 1935 when he was given his first camera, a Kodak Brownie Flash by a relative. He then spent his time mastering the Art of Photography. In 1948, Seydou Keita opened his studio in Bamako, the capital. He quickly gained a public and soon he started to take photographs of various subjects: men, children, couples, families and women. His work has been shown and recognized all over the world. He remains one of Africa’s most renowned photographers.

Photographs of Seydou Keita showcasing the women of Mali in their everyday lives:

Photos courtesy of Seydou Keita’s official website.



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