African Photo : Mama Casset

  • France
  • 2014
  • fr
  • en
  • 43'

Mama Casset is among the great studio photographers in sub-Saharan Africa. In Dakar, Senegal, he fulfilled the same role as Seydou Keita did in Mali. An artistic and social role, that of magnifying each face and offering an iconography to the whole of society. The great accuracy of this film is to show these images and to collect the testimonies of relatives, as well as artists, photographers, historians and Senegalese celebrities. They know better than anyone how to reweave all the private, artistic and historical threads of this life's journey.

African Photo : Mama Casset
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Synopsis

Mama Casset is among the great studio photographers in sub-Saharan Africa. In Dakar, Senegal, he fulfilled the same role as Seydou Keita did in Mali. An artistic and social role, that of magnifying each face and offering an iconography to the whole of society. The great accuracy of this film is to show these images and to collect the testimonies of relatives, as well as artists, photographers, historians and Senegalese celebrities. They know better than anyone how to reweave all the private, artistic and historical threads of this life's journey.

What you will find in this film

An astonishing variety of portraits • The story of Mama Casset • His early beginnings as an assistant photographer • The story of his legendary studio, African Photo • Testimonies of relatives and artists who worked with him • His way of preparing models to sublimate them • The historical and sociological value of his work • His work in the bush and on the personalities of his time • The huge success of his studio in Dakar • Original framing • His loyalty to black and white • The great events of recent years

The paradox is, by calling upon the powers of forgery, he documented his time.

Film chapters

summary00:00 The enigma of vocation

summary06:36 Studio, method and muse

summary15:20 Studio portraits, bush portraits

summary25:44 Another image of Africa

summary36:40 The 1980s, the turning point

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Further exploration

Bibliography

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L’AFRIQUE PAR ELLE-MÊME - by Anne Marie Bouttiaux, Alain d’Hooghe, Pascal Martin Saint Leon ; 2003 ; Musée royal d’Afrique centrale de Tervuren et Revue Noire edition ; in French

• MAMA CASSET - authors: Pascal Martin Saint Leon and Jean Loup Pivin ; 2012 ; La Fabrica

ANTHOLOGIE DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE AFRICAINE, DE L’OCÉAN INDIEN ET DE LA DIASPORA - 1998 ; Revue Noire editions ; in French

MAMA CASSET ET LES PRÉCURSEURS DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE AU SÉNÉGAL - 1994 ; Revue Noire editions ; in French