Category Archives: Mali

At the races in Bamako

This was fun – full set here. There was an entirely different story to be told at the Hippodrome, too, as when we first visited there, was a riding lesson for little French girls in progress, complete with their steely-casual mothers. But neither of us wanted to do something about expats. I was quite pleased with my pictures. Some of them got taken by BBC online for a horribly compressed gallery, with quotes from Lara’s story (and a weird headline about “desert horse-racing”. Bamako’s pretty hot and dusty, but not quite a desert). I also sold two to a photo agency, but they’re not here, as they chose the most boring ones. They always did.

Gadaffi’s air punch

Libyan leader Moammar Gadaffi salutes waiting crowds as he disembarks at Sénou airport, Bamako, Mali, 14 May 2004. Behind him, in camouflage, are his female “bodyguards”. Gadaffi was in Bamako for a summit meeting of Cen-Sad, the Libyan-dominated Community of Sahel-Saharan States

Probably the high point of my short career as a photojournalist. It was 14 May 2004; Gadaffi was in Bamako for a summit meeting. I spent all day at the airport, one president after another to be photographed. I left my hat at home, and being out on the tarmac most of the time got a very burned head. I think this one went on the cover of Jeune Afrique.

(This picture is held by AFP – click here to visit their site.)