Malick Sidibé
[Photographer, b. 1935, Soloba, Mali, d. 2016, Bamako, Mali.]

 Man tried to imitate God by drawing; then we invented the photo. 
 It’s a world, someone’s face. When I capture it, I see the future of the world. 
 I wanted to be the photographer of happiness. 
 Photographs are reality: they never lie, and that’s important to me. 
 Before I knew the camera, I knew about images. It’s all about trying to make light with a pencil or with a crayon. It really helped me in the beginning, because I understood how light and shadow were working on an image. 
 It’s all the same. It’s the same face. We always look for an idea, for the same face, for the same position. There is no such thing as a “European” or an “African photography.” It’s all the same thing. 
 Young people enjoyed having their photo taken in their best attire, with their new earrings, curled hair, showing off their best watch, their bracelets… Everyone likes to be beautiful in photographs. 
 People said if [I] was at a party, it gave it prestige. I would let people know I’d arrived by letting off my flash… You could feel the temperature rise right away. 
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