Photographer Malike Sidibe Looks Back at a Year of Capturing Protests, Isolation, and Jubilation

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The year 2020 has been one of collective growth, and photographer Malike Sidibe is no exception. Sidibe, previously focused on portraiture and fashion photography, found himself called to the streets in May to document the growing Black Lives Matter movement. “I definitely identify differently as a photographer now than I did beginning of the year,” he said recently. “I understand the deeper importance of photography, especially documentary. The response I received from my documentary work made me realize that I have a duty to use my skills to document and show the reality I see around me to those who would otherwise have never known.”

Though this awakening hasn’t taken the Ivory Coast–born photographer away from his love of portraiture and fashion, it has pushed his work to another level, and instilled a deeper meeting in his purpose. “As a 23-year-old immigrant who lived through multiple wars at a very young age, then moved to America in hopes of a better life and future, 2020 has made me realize that the whole world is the same. No matter where you are, you just have to play your part and contribute to making the world a better place. No matter what it is that you do, your role is just as important for the collective goal of a utopia. I plan to continue to play my part.”

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