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March 23, 2009
Photo courtesy Fifty One Fine Art Photography.
Lens Culture is thrilled to share a transcription of a very warm and personal interview made with Malick Sidibé in 2008. Here is an excerpt:
At night, from midnight to 4 am or 6 am, I went from one party to another. I could go to four different parties. If there were only two, it was like having a rest. But if there were four, you couldn't miss any. If you were given four invitations, you had to go. You couldn't miss them.
I'd leave one place, I'd take 36 shots here, 36 shots there, and then 36 somewhere else, until the morning. Sometimes I would come back to parties where there had been a lot of people.
Afterwards I had to develop the photos and print them out. Sometimes, right up to 6 in the morning, I would be at the enlarger. For the 6 x 6 films there was a contact printer, but the 24 x 36 had to be enlarged.
So you had about 300 or 400 photos to print out. You could work in the morning, but, by Tuesday, the photos had to be ready for display. The proofs were pinned up outside my studio. Lots of people would come and point themselves out. "Look at me there! I danced with so-and-so! Can you see me there?"
Even if they didn't buy the photo, they would show it to their friends. That was enough for them. They had danced with a certain girl, and that was enough. I wasn't happy, though. I wanted them to buy these photos!
See the photos, and read the complete interview, here in Lens Culture.