• Fatoumata Diabaté, Sutigi – a nous la nuit
    Fatoumata Diabaté, Sutigi – a nous la nuit
10 October 2013–1 December 2013

Fatoumata Diabaté – The Night Belongs to Us

The Night Belongs to Us (a nous la nuit)

Marabouparken Art Gallery continues its Malian season by featuring Fatoumata Diabaté, one of the younger women photographers who have recently emerged on the West African photography scene. In The Night Belongs to Us (a nous la nuit) she captures her contemporaries in photographs of young people in the nocturnal bustle of the Mali capital.

The Night Belongs to Us (a nous la nuit) consists of a series of snapshots of nightlife in Bamako, the preceding moments in front of the mirror, slick moves on the dance floor, mobiles being checked and roving eyes eager for contact. Diabaté’s photos express a quality that is both elusive and intimate in every situation. Her camera captures a cleavage or a shimmering dress as in a quick sketch or scribbled note.

This exhibition features a selection of photographs from the extensive series, Sutigi – a nous la nuit. Diabaté portrays people posing playfully for the camera, proudly showing off in trendy clothes and accessories worn with natural grace. In this respect, the settings in The Night Belongs to Us (a nous la nuit) are not unlike the contexts documented by the now internationally-famed Malian photographer Malick Sidibé some four decades earlier, which are shown simultaneously with Fatoumata Diabaté this autumn. The mood in photos by Diabaté’s contemporaries, however, is more urban and slightly restless, conveying a different zeitgeist than the perhaps more carefree ambiance found in Sidibé’s classic, balanced compositions.

There are many stories and perspectives from West Africa that remain to be told, to follow up what Malick Sidibé and other early photographers from Mali focused on in the 1950s when the colonial powers withdrew from the country. One of Diabaté’s incentives is to continue portraying life from her own perspective, in a region that is usually interpreted and described by observers and reporters from the outside.

The Night Belongs to Us (a nous la nuit) was produced in association with exp, experiments in crosscultural practices

Fatoumata Diabaté (b. 1980) is a photographer born in Bamako, Mali, where she currently lives and works. She studied at the Centre de Formation en Photographie (CFP) in Mali, and now works simultaneously on assignments for arts institutions, major organisations such as World Press Photo, and on her own serial photographic projects that develop over longer periods of time. She has been featured in numerous exhibitions and festivals of photography in Africa and Europe. In 2005, she was awarded the “Afrique en création” prize by the French cultural institute AFAA for her photo series Touaregs, en gestes et en mouvements. In 2011 she won the Fondation Blachère award for her photo series L’homme en Animal.

Fatoumata Diabaté, Sutigi – a nous la nuit