La vie en rose presents a selection of over 50 photographs taken in Mali’s capital Bamako, in the 1960s-1970s by the internationally acclaimed Malian photographer Malick Sidibé. The exhibition includes the iconic black-and-white photographs that have made Sidibé world famous: the parties in the 1960s, studio portraits and a selection of photographs from his archive. Presented is also a reconstruction of Sidibé’s legendary studio, which he set up in 1962 and continues to run with the help of his sons.
Recently, Mali has been wracked by a military coup and ethnic unrest, but in the 1960s, Mali was experiencing a burst of energy and optimism that followed upon its liberation from French colonialism. Malick Sidibé’s images unveil the magic and excitement of Bamako in those years when the desire to be together, of being part of history in its making seemed imperative. Positioned at the junction of Malian independence and a period of rapid modernisation, the works bear witness to the joy, insouciance, and confidence of Africa’s youth revolution.