Abdourahmane Sakaly – Photo

© photo Abdourahmane Sakaly, 'Two girls Yé-Yé with glasses', Bamako ca. 1965
© photo Abdourahmane Sakaly, 'Two girls Yé-Yé with glasses', Bamako ca. 1965



born in 1926 in Saint-Louis, Senegal - died in 1988 in Bamako, Mali



active from 1946 to 1980 in Bamako




Abdourahmane Sakaly comes from a merchant family of Saint-Louis, Senegal, coming from Morocco. He moves at age 20 in Bamako. Introduced to photography in his youth by one of the fathers of Senegalese photography Meïssa Gaye (1892-1982), he decided to open his studio in Medina Coura, facing one of the major markets of the Sudanese (now Malian) capital.


Without means, with makeshift equipment, developing films in cans, he photographs, however, with a real personality and quickly became the first African studio of Bamako in the years 1960-1970.


The latter, well organized with its lounge, its make-up room, the other for shoting and the laboratory, photography offers him a comfortable life.



[run the slideshow below]

Teenagers, newlyweds, single apprentices notables as Africans passing like it to be photographed alone or in groups. Sakaly is generous in nature, rarely taking himself seriously, adoring trips with friends in the nights of Bamako.


He shows us a modern Mali erecting accurately a large portrait of society at this particular time of Independence in which everyone, hopefully, regains their dignity. Towards the end of his life, Abdourahmane Sakaly abandons his studio, leaving to his children, who continue to preserve this heritage in the memory of the size of a nonconformist father.


The studio will survive until 2002. Sakaly is one of the illustrious founders of photography in Bamako along with Seydou Keita, and later Malick Sidibé, they are recognized as such by the public of their time. Sakaly, died in 1988, was rediscovered in 1994 by Revue Noire.



par Jean Loup Pivin






- 'L'Afrique par elle-même' / 'Africa by Africans', Revue Noire, MEP, Paris 1998 (tour exhibit until 2003 : Brazil, South Africa, Germany, Usa, U.K., Italia, Belgium, Portugal)

- "Africa pelos Africanos", Centro Portugues de Fotografia, Porto 2006







- 'Photographie africaine / Mozambique', Revue Noire Magazine N°17, December 1994

- 'Photographes de Bamako' by Érika Nimis, Revue Noire Éditions, Paris 1998

- 'Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso', Revue Noire Magazine N°17, June1995

- 'L'Afrique par elle-même', by Anne Marie Bouttiaux, Alain D'Hooghe, Pascal Martin Saint Leon, Musée royal d'Afrique Centrale de Tervuren and Revue Noire Éditions, Paris 2003

 - 'Anthology of African  Photography', Revue Noire Paris - DAP New York 1999




Revue Noire publishing



Magazine Revue Noire RN17 Mali-Niger-Burkina Faso
Magazine Revue Noire RN17 Mali-Niger-Burkina Faso



Anthology of African Photography
Anthology of African Photography


Bamako Photographers
Bamako Photographers



L'Afrique par Elle-même
L'Afrique par Elle-même -^Africa by Africans