Bamako is looking back on a long and comparatively well researched history of photography due to world famous photographers like Seydou Keita and Malick Sidibé. In the shadow of this older generations, younger photographers have entered the professional field who work under quite different conditions today. This PhD thesis focuses on the latest generation of practitioners who entered Bamako’s photographic landscape. It aims to explore their everyday life experiences as well as some of their current photographic practices and how they find creative ways to make a living in a highly contested professional field.

On the basis of 12 months’ field research, the following four spaces of photographic practices have been crystallised:

1.      The photo studio from its local history to its contemporary adaptations

2.      Wedding ceremonies as a key cultural event of image production in Mande culture

3.      The Biennial as a starting point to the global art world

4.      Travelling photographers imagining the sub-region



Prof. Till Förster and Prof. Joanna Grabski


Swiss National Science Foundation (Project: Art/Articulation: art and the formation of social space in African cities)