Imaging Culture

Photography in Mali, West Africa

by Candace M. Keller

Published by: Indiana University Press

392 pages, 7.00 x 10.00 in, 16 color illus., 100 b&w illus.

  • Paperback
  • 9780253025579
  • Published: July 2021


  • eBook
  • 9780253057211
  • Published: July 2021


Imaging Culture is a sociohistorical study of the meaning, function, and aesthetic significance of photography in Mali, West Africa, from the 1930s to the present. Spanning the dynamic periods of colonialism, national independence, socialism, and democracy, its analysis focuses on the studio and documentary work of professional urban photographers, particularly in the capital city of Bamako and in smaller cities such as Mopti and Ségu.

Featuring the work of more than one-hundred photographers, it concentrates on those who have been particularly influential for the local development and practice of the medium as well as its international popularization and active participation in the contemporary art market.

Imaging Culture looks at how local aesthetic ideas are visually communicated in the photographers' art and argues that though these aesthetic arrangements have specific relevance for local consumers, they transcend geographical and cultural boundaries to have value for contemporary global audiences as well.

Imaging Culture is an important and visually interesting book which will become a standard source for those who study African photography and its global impact.