Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 June 2019

See Malian portraits in the Seydou Keïta Exhibition Tour at Leila Heller Gallery

This untitled image by Seydou Keïta can be seen during the guided exhibition tour at Leila Heller Gallery on Wednesday evening. Courtesy Leila Heller Gallery
This untitled image by Seydou Keïta can be seen during the guided exhibition tour at Leila Heller Gallery on Wednesday evening. Courtesy Leila Heller Gallery

Take part in the guided Seydou Keïta Exhibition Tour led by Jolaine Frizzell, director at Leila Heller Gallery in conjunction with Gulf Photo Plus. According to Nigerian art curator Okwui Enwezor, this selection of portraits taken by the Malian photographer between 1948 and 1960 of the residents of Bamako, Mali reveal the emergence of “subjectivities and desires in a modern and modernizing Africa”.

The images portray individuals looking directly into the camera, displaying their own self-identification in a time when photography presented Africans in a new and modern way, after years of strict cultural policies under French rule.

In terms of ways that photography influenced Muslim identity, Keïta said in a 1998 documentary: “Because at that time, our great persona did not want to be photographed. Religion had forbidden it then. They said a Muslim should not make photos. But young people would not listen to this. They wanted to be photographed.”

This exhibition, which runs until September 1, is Keïta’s first in the Middle East. He died in 2001.

• Wednesday, August 3, 7pm, Leila Heller Gallery, I-87, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai, 056 831 3520, www.leilahellergallery.com

Updated: August 3, 2016 04:00 AM

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