Huib Blom (b. 1964) is a Dutch-born photographer and author living and working in Geneva, Switzerland. For the last 20 years he has visited Mali to photograph the people, ceremonial performances, regional architecture, and striking landscapes of the West African country. This photographic essay presents images selected from Blom’s substantial body of work that focuses on the Dogon peoples, who reside on the rocky plateau, escarpment, and Séno-Gondo plain in the Bandiagara Circle, a region commonly referred to as Dogon Country (Pays Dogon).
Sérou and Ana Dolo, sons of a former chief of Sangha village, and Kalba Dolo facilitated Blom’s travels in the area and the making of his stunning photographic images. Following a military insurrection in 2012 that toppled the Malian government and created economic instability in the region, Blom gave Sérou Dolo cameras and video equipment to continue documenting events in Dogon Country. Some of Dolo’s photographs are presented here; and excerpts from his films of mask performances and funerary celebrations (dama) are in the exhibition ReCollecting Dogon.
Blom’s and Dolo’s pictures of people, manicured agricultural fields, the undulating facades of ginna buildings (a central dwelling for an extended patrilineal lineage) and binu shrines (typically a single-chamber structure upon which offerings are made), and the colorful world of the Bandiagara elegantly illustrate the dynamic visual culture and society of Dogon peoples.
More photographs by Blom and Dolo of the Bandiagara region with extended caption information are available online at Blom’s website: Dogon-Lobi
All photographs are © by the photographer the year of their making.