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Candace M. Keller

Feb 28, 2022

Imaging Culture

Photography in Mali, West Africa

Indiana University Press 2021

Imaging Culture: Photography in Mali, West Africa (Indiana University Press, 2021) 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 twenty-five 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 that will become a standard source for those who study African photography and its global impact.

Candace M. Keller is Associate Professor of African Art and Visual Culture in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design at Michigan State University. She also directs the Archive of Malian Photography (amp.matrix.msu.edu) and is Associate Director of Matrix: Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at Michigan State University.

Sara Katz is a Postdoctoral Associate in the History Department at Duke University.

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Sara Katz

Sara Katz is a postdoctoral associate in the history department at Duke University. Her research examines the history of the Nigerian hajj in the colonial and postcolonial periods. Her interests include Muslim-Christian relations, visual culture, and global Islam.

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