‘If I didn’t go to a party they’d say “Malick, how could you not turn up?".’
Celebrating our current exhibition Malick Sidibé: The Eye of Modern Mali we invite a select panel of guests to reflect upon the master photographer’s candid images of Bamako youth in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Sidibé‘s evocative prints captured a time of greater freedom for many young people, who can be seen enjoying music, beach parties and their own fashions, but who also formed part of his social circle. Fast forwarding in time, our guests reflect upon what is happening now in contemporary cultural practice, especially in a London, where leisure and nightlife is under increased threat from urban developers, but inventive music and street style remain core to the capital’s identity. Joining the panel are cultural commentator Ekow Eshun, artist and curator Harris Elliott and photographer Dean Chalkley who use examples from their own experience and observations to make comparisons.
About the speakers:
Dean Chalkley is an award winning contemporary photographer and filmmaker based in London. Renowned for his iconic portraiture, Dean has shot many memorable magazine covers, record sleeves, advertising and fashion campaigns. His work reflects a love for sub and popular culture, celebrating the individuals within them. One notable collaboration with creative director Harris Elliott produced the highly acclaimed exhibition and publication, Return of the Rudeboy. Dean’s work has been exhibited in galleries internationally including FoMu, Somerset House, The V&A, The Turner Contemporary, La Foret Museum in Japan. It also features in the permanent MoMA Collection.
Harris Elliott, Visual Storyteller, is a London based multi-disciplinary artist, curator and stylist who conceives and delivers gallery shows, installations, advertising and music campaigns for a range of international clients. Culture and art inspires his aesthetic. Harris is co-creator of the touring exhibition Return of the Rudeboy, curator of Punk in Translation and Creative Director for Kate Tempest, Let Them Eat Chaos
Ekow Eshun is a writer, cultural commentator and award-winning broadcaster.
His book, Black Gold of the Sun: Searching for Home in England and Africa was nominated for the Orwell Prize for political writing in 2005.
The former Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts from 2005-10, he was also the former Editor of Arena and former Deputy Editor of The Face. His writing has appeared in publications including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Observer, the New Statesman, Vogue and Wallpaper and he appears frequently on TV and radio programmes including Radio 4’s Saturday Review and Front Row. From 2000-2013 he was a regular contributor on the BBC’s flagship arts programme The Review Show. He has written and presented several documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4 including Living on the Line, winner of Best Documentary, One World Media Awards, 2000.
Above Image Credit:
Left - Title: Bevan Agyemang and Macharia Brian Gathii
Return of the Rudeboy : Dean Chalkley x Harris Elliott
Image © Dean Chalkley
Right - Title: Nuit de Noël (Happy Club), 1963
Image © Malick Sidibé. Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris