Saïdou Dicko is born in 1979 in Déou, north of Burkina Faso. He lives and works in Paris.
Once a self-taugh artist that would try to find himself in painting, Dicko discovered the shadows through the magic of image. For the artist, this has been the revelation of a passion and a calling. Fascinated by images, he slides naturally from photograph to video. He took part in several exhibitions in Africa and in the rest of the world, especially in Santo Domingo for the first ACP Festival (States of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific), Art Madrid 2007, 7th African Photograpy Encounters of Bamako, Dak’art 2008 official selection, ‘’spot on” Daka’art 2008, IFA Gallery in Berlin, ‘’Africa Now’’ Washington at the Mondial Bank Headquarters.
His works received several prizes : Prix Blachère in 2006 in Dakar, Prize of the Francophonie at African Photography Encounter of Bamako in 2007, Fondation Thamgidi Prize in 2008 in Dakar and the Off Prize of European Union. The Shadow Thief series was edited by Africalia Editions & Roularta Books in 2007. In 2014, he presents an installation mixing the photos of his series Shadow Thief to a projection Gariibu, in the side-events of the Dak’art Biennale, in the Royal Air Maroc pavilion.
The shadow thief : ‘’My kids talk about equality and union:
Equality: They are white, they are black, they are poor, they are beggars, they are thieves, they are musllims, they are christians, they are students, they are tramps, they are bureaucrats, they are immigrants, they are natives, they are diseabled, they are sportsmen, they are women, they are men, they are tall, they are small, they wear uniforms, they are street sellers, they are sheperds and they are animals.
Union: They are all here for the family reunion. Despite the difference between their social class, they sit on the same bench and they eat at the same table.
Shadows are not dramatized; I steal the shadows of people and animals on the ground and on the walls (thos pictures are taken in Senegal, Burkina Faso and in Republic Democratic of Congo between November 2005 and now). My picture are neither cut, nor retouched.’’
Gariibu (Gariibu = beggar in Fula language), vidéo, 3’15’’, 2008. ‘’ I was shooting a series of shadow pictures when three young beggars came towards me. They tryed to avoid to be on the picture I was taking so they passed behind me, but they saw the screen of my digital camera. I did not pay any attention to their presence and I carried on working. They began to play around me, passing in front and behind the camera. Once again, i turned my camera into a video camera and I let them do whatever they wanted. Without asking them, they revealed their life, reminding me of my own history as a student in a madrasa. At his time, in my village, student of the madrasa where considered as children. Today, when they live in cities, they are not even considered. So people give them money to get rid of them. I wanted to present this film in order to show their reality, and the fact that they are like every children. They laugh, they play and they are happy despite the very hard life they have. The music of the video is a song that i sing in Fula language – which is my mother tongue. In the first part, I invite those kids not to fall into deliquency. In the second part, I call my parents for help, to come and rescue me because the marabout is bullying us.’’