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Imaging Culture - Photography in Mali, West Africa

Imaging Culture - Photography in Mali, West Africa

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Imaging Culture is a sociohistorical study of the meaning, function, and aesthetic significance of photography in Mali, West Africa, from the 1930s to the present. Spanning the dynamic periods of colonialism, national independence, socialism, and democracy, its analysis focuses on the studio and documentary work of professional urban photographers, particularly in the capital city of Bamako and in smaller cities such as Mopti and Ségu.

Featuring the work of more than twenty-five photographers, it concentrates on those who have been particularly influential for the local development and practice of the medium as well as its international popularization and active participation in the contemporary art market.

Imaging Culture looks at how local aesthetic ideas are visually communicated in the photographers' art and argues that though these aesthetic arrangements have specific relevance for local consumers, they transcend geographical and cultural boundaries to have value for contemporary global audiences as well.

Imaging Culture is an important and visually interesting book which will become a standard source for those who study African photography and its global impact.


Candace M. Keller is Associate Professor of African Art and Visual Culture in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design at Michigan State University. She also directs the Archive of Malian Photography (, and is Associate Director of Matrix: Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at Michigan State University.



Title: Imaging Culture - Photography in Mali, West Africa
Publisher: Indiana University Press, 2021
Author: Candace M. Keller
Format: Paperback
Size: 486 pages, 197 Illustrations
ISBN: 9780253025579
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