This is the art and world of portrait photographer Seydou Keïta—alongside snapshots of his life and times through fifteen years of extraordinary transition, from the beginning of the end of French colonial power in West Africa to the birth and rise of a new nation-state, the Republic of Mali.

Between 1948 and 1962, in a dusty courtyard studio in Bamako—first the capital of French Soudan and then of the new Republic, Seydou Keïta captured, in thousands of black and white postcard-size portraits, the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of a new generation becoming the citizens of this new West Africa.

Welcome to the world of Seydou Keïta. Welcome to Bamako in the 1950s.


1. INTRODUCTION. Your first glimpse into the artist’s life and times. See the big picture before diving into the work.

2. GALLERY. Feast your eyes on the artist’s greatest hits and inspirations. A curated archive of high-resolution images at your fingertips. Up close. In-depth. Absolutely gorgeous.

3. TIMELINE. Navigate and explore two interactive, parallel time streams. Make connections between the art, the history and the world at large.

4. VISUAL BIOGRAPHY. Meet the artist, up close and personal. Experience the story of a lifetime, in words and pictures.

5. RESOURCES. A bibliography that give you access to all the resources cited within the app, so you can learn even more.


Seydou Keïta is presented by the Contemporary African Art Collection (C.A.A.C.).
C.A.A.C is the largest private contemporary African art collection in the world. Founded in 1989, by French-Italian business man, Jean Pigozzi, together with André Magnin, a French independant curator, it is dedicated to artists from sub-Saharan Africa, and includes several thousand artworks featuring all genres of art: drawing, painting, sculpture, installations, photography and videos.
The CAAC is based in Geneva, and doesn’t have a permanent exhibition venue, but it has organized and participated in numerous exhibitions and catalogue publications around the world, having greatly contributed to the rise of contemporary African art on the international art scene. It has made a substantial contribution to the recognition of such artists as Seydou Keïta, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, George Lilanga, Malick Sidibé, Moké, Chéri Samba, Romuald Hazoumé and Bodys Isek Kingelez.


The Seydou Keïta app is powered by Art Intelligence, the first and only app-building platform that makes it easy and affordable for art and education professionals to connect people to pictures, images to ideas, and world-class art to world-wide audiences

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

ryubgoto510 ,

Amazing app concept

Transparent and informative. I learned so much about Seydou Keïta. Reading about him in historical context gave me a great sense of his motivations, and the influences that made him the photographer he was. Truly inspiring.

LPNYC$$$ ,

Great teaching tool

I had my art students download for a class on portraiture. They were mesmerized.

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