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How Mali’s Golden Age of Photography has Evolved

The 20th century studio photography is often focused solely on the work of Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé, whose evocative black-and-white images have become sought after in the art world. But this special time in the West African country’s history, just before and after it gained independence from France in 1960, gave rise to many other photographers equally deserving of contemporary attention. Enter Black Shade Projects. The itinerant exhibition platform celebrating African photography, with an emphasis on Mali’s rich archive, was founded by Moroccan art consultant Myriem Baadi last year to grant visibility to otherwise unknown artists and illustrate the nuances of Africa’s photographic lineage. “Black Shade Projects intends to present Malian photography beyond that of the notable names, not only by preserving the archives of these veterans, but by encouraging an extended conversation with the ambition to widen and diversify art collections,” she said in an interview for Nataal at the time of the launch. “It recounts the multifaceted stories of Africa through a more authentic narrative.”