HomeWorld NewsBurkinabé music, dance and youth culture captured by photographer Sanlé Sory

Burkinabé music, dance and youth culture captured by photographer Sanlé Sory

A new London exhibition and photo book features the work of photographer Sanlé Sory, showing young dancers and musicians in Burkina Faso between 1965 and 1980.

A group dancingImage copyright Sanle Sory
Image caption Les danseurs de makossa (Makossa music dancers), 1976
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Sory spent much of his career at his photo studio in western Burkina Faso, working in the daytime.

At night, he would visit remote villages along the Kou Valley, north-west of the city of Bobo-Dioulasso, to capture flourishing music scenes.

The parties would last until after sunrise, at which point the farmers and herders would head straight back to work to tend their fields and cattle.

“Life was cheap and everyone could have a ball. You could always go out and have some fun,” Sory said.

Here is a selection of some of the work from the exhibition and photo book called Peuple de la Nuit.

A couple dancingImage copyright Sanle Sory
Image caption Les jeunes danseurs de Sikasso Sira (The young dancers of the Sikasso Sira neighbourhood), 1972
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A man showing off his jacketImage copyright Sanle Sory
Image caption Le diable noir (The black devil), 1975
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A group dancingImage copyright Sanle Sory
Image caption Le quart d’heure rumba à la soirée privée (Fifteen minutes of rumba at a private party), 1977
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A man dancingImage copyright Sanle Sory
Image caption Le malien et ses chaussures têtes de nègre (The Malian and his black platform shoes), 1975
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Two men posing in sunglassesImage copyright Sanle Sory
Image caption Lunettes nocturnes (Night glasses), 1977
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A man posing with a guitarImage copyright Sanle Sory
Image caption Le musicien (The musician), 1967
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A couple dancingImage copyright Sanle Sory
Image caption Les deux amoureux de Dogona (The two lovers of Dogona), 1972
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A couple dancingImage copyright Sanle Sory
Image caption Surprise party en ville (Surprise party in town), 1974
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A couple dancingImage copyright Sanle Sory
Image caption Valse à Bobo (Waltz in Bobo), 1968

The photo book Peuple de la Nuit is published by Stanley/Barker.

The exhibition is at the David Hill Gallery in London from 5 April until 31 May 2019.

Burkinabé music, dance and youth culture captured by photographer Sanlé Sory

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