Mama Casset – Photo

© photo Mama Casset, Portrait in the Studio 'African Photo', Dakar ca. 1950-1970
© photo Mama Casset, Portrait in the Studio 'African Photo', Dakar ca. 1950-1970


(Dakar, Senegal)
born in 1908 (Saint-Louis du Senegal) - died in 1992 (Dakar, Senegal)
Active in Dakar from 1941 to 1980.
From the age of 12, Mama Casset learned photography with the French Oscar Lataque in Dakar then at the end of primary school he works in the Tennequin’s AOF Photographic Counter. Soon he joined the French Air Force for which he produced numerous aerial photographs.
At the end of the Second World War, he opened his private studio "African Photo" in the Medina in Dakar.
Mama Casset is not content to be the fashionable Dakar studio and its bourgeoisie, he produced a work which he himself describes as artistic whose second wife is his muse and the main model. The very personal aesthetic established by Mama Casset will school: rare set pieces, staged very structured characters, frequent use of the diagonal, highlighting the expression of body position hands, eyes, place given to the costume, tight frame. Look at a picture of Mama Casset is to feel heavy perfumes - the tchouraïs -, the back laughter or sadness, fortitude or weakness, sensuality.
Became blind, he ceases all activity in the 1980s few years later, his studio was completely destroyed by fire. His work is now out of oblivion.

[run the slideshow below]

  • © photo Mama Casset, Studio 'African Photo', Dakar 1950-1970



- 'Mama Casset', co-edition Revue Noire, Paris - La Fabrica, Madrid, 2011
- 'Mama Casset, un pomeriggio a Dakar, Takussanu Ndakaru' (An Afternoon in Dakar), Tagete Edizioni, Pisa 2005
- 'L'Afrique par elle-même' ('Africa by Africans'), by Anne Marie Bouttiaux, Alain D'Hooghe, Pascal Martin Saint Leon, Musée royal d'Afrique centrale in Tervuren and Revue Noire editions, Paris 2003
- 'Anthology of African Photography, and in Indian Ocean and Diaspora', co-edition Revue Noire Paris - DAP New York 1999 (french edition 1998)
- 'AfricanPhotography / Mozambique', Revue Noire Magazine RN17, December 1994
- 'Mama Casset et les précurseurs de la photographie au Sénégal' (Casset and the Precursor Photographers in Senegal), editions Revue Noire, Paris 1994
- 'African Photographes', Revue Noire Magazine RN03, December 1991


- 'Africa pelos Africanos', Centro Portugues de Fotografia, Porto, Portugal 2006
- 26e Biennale internationale de São Paulo, Brazil, curator Simon Njami
- 'L'Afrique par elle-même' ('Africa by Africans'), Revue Noire, MEP, Paris 1998
(tour exhibit until 2003 : Brazil, South Africa, Germany, Usa, UK, Italia, Belgium)
- Nederlands Foto Instituut, Rotterdam 1995
- Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK1995
- Galerie Le Lieu, Lorient 1995
- 'African Photography', Studio Museum of Harlem, New York 1993
- 'Carte blanche à Revue Noire', Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles, Paris 1992


- 'African Photo, Mama Casset', 56' documentary by Elisa Mereghetti, Fototracce-Ethnos productions.

Revue Noire publications

and Mama Casset


Mama Casset, Studio African Photo
Mama Casset, Studio African Photo

Mama Casset and Senegalese Photo Precursors
Mama Casset and Senegalese Photo Precursors

Antho African Photo
Anthology of African Photography

Revue Noire magazine RN07 Dakar
Revue Noire magazine RN07 Dakar