Moussa Kalapo - Mali

Musée National du Mali

La métaphore du temps (2015)

Photos that accumulate in the family album, marked by the passage of time. This is the source material that Moussa Kalapo chose to explore in his series La métaphore du temps (2015). The photographer invited residents of Bamako to tell their stories by presenting their cherished old photographs that they had carefully safeguarded through the years.

A child, an adolescent, posing in the places they spend their days with a photo of a lost one between their hands. For the most part, these old images are chosen by the person’s associates as a means of sharing their story and fighting against forgetting.

The hands holding the photos are the first clue to the impact of time and its passage. The originality of the series is rooted in the exercise of reconstructing memory or sometimes even of the invention of a history. The multiple narratives that are established by these images allow the photographer to examine the importance of family archives and their role in perpetuating a personal or collective memory. These images end up serving as a type of prescription that argues for the strengthening of memory with objects and documents. These photos within photos also contribute to the creation of a storyline that traces a historical period of African photography, notably through the evocation of Mali’s photo studios and their decline in the wake of the emergence of color photography and portable cameras. This collection of photo- graphs represents an important commitment for Moussa Kalapo who, since 2014, has been an active participant in a program to conserve and preserve Malian photography and to affirm the potential of its history.

Born in 1983 in Bamako, Mali –
Lives in Bamako

Institut Français
Ministère de la Culture de l’Artisanat et du Tourisme du Mali