Malike Sidibe

Malike Sidibe

New York, USA

About my work

Mami wata (Mother Water) is a water spirit that is celebrated throughout West Africa. Although she may appear in dreams and visions to her devotees as a beautiful mermaid, she is also said to walk the streets of modern African cities in the guise of a gorgeous but elusive woman. She rarely leaves the water and when she does, she enters our dreams. She rises from the depth of the sea, she can change into any shape and form. She is praised partly because she can bring good fortune. She is thankful when she’s worshiped and evil if you offend her. Mami Wata is often described as a mermaid-like figure, with a woman’s upper body and the hindquarters of a fish or serpent. Yet in other tales, Mami Wata is entirely human in her appearance. Her spirits are usually represented in female form, but are sometimes male. Her spirit has been described in many ways throughout many cultures. In Trinidad and Tobago Mami Wata plays the role of a guardian of nature, punishing overzealous hunters or woodcutters. Those who have had encounters with her described her energy in many ways. Some say she communicates without words. Others described the encounter as very abstract through contacts with water as they believe that we are more inclined to be open to the messages and inspiration from Mami Wata when we are in contact with water. For example taking a bath or immersing ourselves in the water. These photographs are inspired by the dreamy and abstract stories about Mami Wata and her abstract beauty.


Although his name spells almost exactly the same as the well known Malian photographer Malick Sidibe, 23 year-old Malike Sidibe offers a surrealistic dreamlike take on image-making. At his core, Malike is an artist. He was born in Man, Côte d'Ivoire and moved to Guinea when he was 3 years old. He fell in love with photography at the age of 12 when his father gave him his first camera. He moved to NYC from Guinea in the summer of 2010 at the age of 13. Starting out as a menswear design major, he attended fashion classes at The Fashion Institute of Technology, where he discovered that he enjoyed taking pictures of the clothing more than designing the clothes. In 2013, Malike joined a nonprofit after-school program called NYC SALT, where he discovered that photography is his true passion and path. Malike's work is a reflection of his creative nature, his inspiration is drawn by the people he meets and the places he has lived. He is a high-energy creative photographer producing innovative portraits and images full of spirit and color. Malike is dedicated to creating timeless images. His clients includes: The Met Museum, TIME, The New York Times Mag, Business Week, Nike, Footlocker, Nikon, Instagram.




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Malike Sidibe

All images on this page are © by Malike Sidibe and not to be used, published or downloaded without permission