At first when I came across these portraits, caught by Malian photographer Seydou Keïta, I thought they were recently taken. A collection of these un-archived/unknown images had been found back in 1991 at the Center for African Arts in New York. The individual who came across these shots was André Magnin. The discovery prompted him to travel to Mali, where these pictures were deemed to have originated from, in order to make a clear identification of the person behind the camera. Once he arrived he met with several photographers in and around Mali and in time discovered that these were The gentlemen of Bamako, circa 1948 to 1962.Oh how wrong I was at first.
A magic set of portraits that show such style and elegance from the regional capitol of this African region.
Showing that much of style is cyclical; cut, fabric and even photographic style always come back round – timeless.