Seydou Keïta (born c. 1921, Bamako, Mali, ded in 2001, Paris, France) is unanimously regarded today as the most famous African studio photographer of the 20th century. Discovered in the West in the early 1990s, his work, composed essentially of black and white portraits made in his studio in Bamako from 1948 to 1962, has since been exhibited in major museums and written about in numerous publications. But before his talent was recognized worldwide, Keïta was initially a “studiotiste” who was very famous in Mali and throughout West Africa, thanks to his understanding of the pose, the quality of his prints and the staging of his portraits, in which the accessories bear witness to the changes in urban Malian society during the process of decolonization with independence on the horizon.


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