piece of interview, Malick Sidibé

At night, from midnight to 4 to 6 am, I went from one party to another. I could go to four different parties. If there were only two, it was like having a rest. But if there were four, you couldn't miss any. If you were given four invitations, you had to go. You couldn't miss them.

I'd leave one place, I'd take 36 shots here, 36 shots there, and then 36 somewhere else, until the morning, Sometimes I would come back to parties where there had been a lot of people.

Afterwards I had to develop the photos and print them out. Sometimes, right up to 6 in the morning, I would be at the enlarger. For the 6x6 film there was a contact printer, but the 24x36 had to be enlarged.

So you had about 300 or 400 photos to print out. You could work in the morning, but, by Tuesday, the photos had to be ready for display. The proofs were pinned up outside my studio. Lots of people would come and point themselves out. "Look at me there! I danced with so and so! Can you see me there?"

Even if they didn't buy the photo, they would show it to their friends. That was enoug for them. They had danced with a certain girl, and that was enough. I wasn't happy, though. I wanted them to buy these photos!

Malick Sidibé