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Five Photographers from Mali at the MSU Museum

Through October, 2018

STUDIO/ ATELIER/ FOTOTALAYƆRƆLA: Five Photographers from Mali
Curated by Dr. Candace M. Keller

Photograph by Abdourahmane Sakaly
Photograph by Abdourahmane Sakaly


Location: Ground Floor MSU Museum

The MSU Museum presents a new exhibit, "STUDIO/ ATELIER/ FOTOTALAYƆRƆLA: Five Photographers from Mali,"  an exploration of photography in Mali spanning from the 1940s to the 1990s. Through portraits and documentary photographs, the archives featured in this exhibition capture fluctuating trends, cultural festivals, and political events during and after the region’s transition from colonial French West Africa to the independent nation state of Mali.

The exhibition is anchored in the collaborative Malian-US partnership, The Archive of Malian Photography ( Funded by the British Library and National Endowment for the Humanities, since 2011, a conservation team in Bamako—Mali’s capital—has been working with MSU to clean, scan, catalog and rehouse over 100,000 photographic negatives from the archives of professional photographers Mamadou Cissé, Adama Kouyaté, Abdourahmane Sakaly, Malick Sidibé, and Tijani Sitou for long-term preservation and access. 

"The Museum is honored to host this beautiful exhibition of studio photography from Mali. This West African nation has one of the world’s most vibrant and creative photographic traditions, and we are pleased to help showcase the important work being done to protect and preserve this precious patrimony, through the international partnership of the Archives for Malian Photography," says Mark Auslander, MSU Museum Director.

“Five Photographers from Mali,” is on view in the MSU Museum’s Ground Floor Gallery from October 25, 2017 – October 2018

This exhibit is produced in conjunction with the MSU College of Arts and Letters and is curated by Dr. Candace M. Keller, Associate Professor in the MSU Department of Art, Art History, and Design.

The MSU Museum is the science and culture museum at Michigan State University and the state’s first Smithsonian Affiliate.  The museum features three floors of special collections and changing exhibits and is open six days a week free of charge (donations are encouraged). The museum is located on 409 West Circle Drive next to Beaumont Tower on the MSU campus. Hours are Monday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Tuesday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Wednesday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10a.m. -5 p.m.; and Sunday, closed. Visitor parking is available at metered spaces at the Grand River Ramp, one block away at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Charles Street. For more information, call (517) 355-2370 or see