Earlier this year, Andy Griffiths upped and left his position as Head of Communications at Diesel UK to journey through Mali, one of Africa’s poorest nations. Photographing his experiences and the people he met, the images have culminated in a series called ‘Magical Mali’, currently exhibiting and for sale at Great Western Studios. The Diesel-jeaned philanthropist spent a lot of time at an orphanage in Bamako during his trip, and is donating 100% of the proceeds from the exhibition to the welfare and education of the children living there.
“Bamako is hot, polluted and fast-paced yet there is an undercurrent of African cool, you just have to look deeper to find it. It’s incredible what you’ll find in the back streets of Bamako, the dirt roads and simple homes are alive with music, drums, African rhythm and dance.
Kalaban Coura is run by a woman called Madame Fofana Fatoumata Goundourou and is assisted by three young girls from the local community. Goundourou started the small-scale orphanage, by chance, over 20 years ago and has dedicated her life to caring for 37 wonderful children. My goal was to capture the orphans’ inherit sense of caring for each other which, as westerners, we can easily lose sight of. I want the photographs to show a bustling sense of laughter, fun, optimism and personality from wonderfully unique characters.
What these children need most of all, is an education. An education ensures a greater knowledge of hygiene, contraception and, of course, language. Every photograph purchased will ensure a child has an education at a local school with a trained teacher, uniform, books and pencils. 100% of the proceeds from this exhibition will go to the orphanage; no middle man taking their cut; no agency fee; no commission. This is a non-profit charitable project. With Goundourou’s dedication and lifelong generosity, these children know what it feels like to have someone, who cares for them, wakes them up every morning and tucks them into bed each night.”
Magical Mali runs at Great Western Studios, 65 Alfred Road, London W2 5EU until 7 November.
Please show your support.
Introduction Sarah Raphael