Fortier's journey through Mali in 1905/06
colonization of West Africa started by the end of the 19th century.
Military men such as Louis Desplagnes (1878-1914) and Emile-Louis Abbat (1867-1916) brought back many
exceptional photographs from their missions abroad. Desplagnes
undertook his journey in 1904/05 and made us discover Dogon country for
the very first time. His in-depth study has been published in a
monumental book in 1907 (Le
Plateau Central Nigérien). Edmond Fortier (1862-1928), on the other hand, was
a professional photographer living in Dakar. He has published between
1900 and 1910 more than 4200 photos as postcards. In 1905/06, Fortier
undertook a long trip that brought him from Guinea through Bamako,
Ségou, Mopti and Dogon country to Timbuktu. On his way back he visited
Djenné and Kayes. The photos of the postcards presented here were made
during this trip. Some of the places visited are shown on the map to
the right. The negatives of his photographs seem to have disappeared.
Thanks to Fortier we know today what Timbuktu, Djenné and Bandiagara
looked like a hundred years ago.