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The West African country of Mali has long been home to a creative community of photographers, many based in urban studios. This exhibition explores five exemplary practitioners of the art of photography–Mamadou Cissé, Adama Kouyaté, Abdourahmane Sakaly, Malick Sidibé, and Tijani Sitou– spanning the period from the 1940s to the 1990s. Their works document the region’s transition from colonial French West Africa to the independent nation of Mali, featuring portraits taken within and outside the studio, as well as cultural events and transcultural trends. The exhibition is anchored in the collaborative Malian-US partnership, the Archive of Malian Photography, and is curated by Dr. Candace M. Keller, Associate Professor in the MSU Department of Art, Art History, and Design.
For more than a century, Pentecostal Signs Followers have handled venomous snakes during worship services, risking death as evidence of their unwavering faith. What is their faith about, and what motivates them to continue their potentially lethal practices across generations?