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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Dressed in photographs: between uniformization, self-enhancement and the promotion of stars and leaders in Bamako
Author:Röschenthaler, UteISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Mali
clothing industry
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972015000546
Abstract:Most literature on cloth focuses on its capacity as a medium of identity construction in relation to politics, economy, ethnicity, age and gender. As such, the equalizing properties of uniforms are often contrasted with the creation of individual styles of dress. This article discusses a further dimension in the complexity of the meanings of clothing: it explores the history, uses and local meanings of fabrics on which photographs of public personalities are printed in Bamako. In Bamako in the 2000s, entrepreneurs from different sectors of society, such as politics, religion, media, art, education and commerce, rediscovered this type of cloth as a business opportunity. They have produced decorated fancy textiles for events where large, heterogeneous groups of people participate most often, and where they multiply the image printed on their clothing. Some of these personalities distribute the cloth as promotional gifts, while others make their fans and followers purchase fabrics as evidence of their admiration. The uniforms decorated with photographs reflect a tendency towards asymmetrical relationships between the owners of the dresses and the personality depicted on them. Some of these relationships even encourage individual styles that transgress the uniform character of the dresses. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French [Journal abstract]