Malick Sidibé | Nuit de Noël | 1963

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Malick Sidibé, one the master in the history of the African photography, said he loved this picture he took at the Happy Boys Club in Bamako, Mali: Nuit de Noël (Christmas Eve, Happy Club). One brother is teaching to his sister how to dance.

It was the late 1950s, Cha cha cha, the twist and rock'n'roll just arrived in Mali. The music was playing a major role in the background of an historic moment: the independence from France in 1960. That meant the end of the colonization.

"We were entering a new era, and people wanted to dance, music freed us. Suddenly, young men could get close to young women, hold them in their hands. Before, it was not allowed. And everyone wanted to be photographed dancing up close. They had to see it!"

"The studio was like no other. It was... relaxed. I did formal family shots, too, but often it was like a party. People would drop by, stay, eat. I slept in the developing room. They'd pose on their Vespas, show off their new hats and trousers and jewels and sunglasses. Looking beautiful was everything. Everyone had to have the latest Paris style. We had never really worn socks, and suddenly people were so proud of theirs, straight from Saint Germain des Prés! It was a fantastic period. Unique."

These 4x6 postcards can be framed and make an excellent gift.

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