Photos: Earth >> Africa >> Mali >> South >> Mopti >> Djenne


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Photo Information
Copyright: Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 8423 W: 483 N: 16439] (74309)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 1982-02
Categories: Daily Life, Architecture
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2018-03-04 1:32
Viewed: 930
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
After an excursion to my home city I return to Mali in West Africa in 1982. This is from Djenné in the south-central part of the country, a city selected by the UNESCO as a world heritage for its unique mud architecture.

This photo was taken an early morning when I took a long walk before breakfast to take photos before the sun rose too high and the light would be less favourable. I was most interested in the famous mosque and the buildings in the centre of the city, but I also reached the more humble outskirts.

Here is a larger version.

This is a heavily cropped photo, so the grain of the old film is more than obvious, but I like it in spite of the low technical quality. One WS shows a wider view of this area, including a herd of sheep and goats. The other WS shows the same herd fram another angle.

All photos were scanned from Kodachrome slides.

papagolf21, snunney, Royaldevon, PaulVDV, pajaran, jhm, ChrisJ, Fis2, Energysavingelk, alvaraalto, mamcg, ikeharel, pierrefonds, macjake, danos, COSTANTINO, Cricri, dale54, adramad, lucasgalodoido, ricardomattos, clic, mcmtanyel has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Bonjour, cher Gert,
Je reste un inconditionnel de vos prises de vue chargées d'histoire et d'émotion !
Ces photos sont donc très appréciées.
Un grand merci pour ce partage très intéressant.

Hello Gert,
An interesting view over these mud brick (I assume) houses. The traditionally dressed lady in the foreground supplies a good focal point and a counterpoint to the majestic palm tree. Technical quality is more than acceptable in the light of your explanation.

Hello Gert,

Perusing your photographs, I was surprised to find that this town is so close to water. It would seem an obvious place to have a town but because of the arid nature of the surroundings and the fact that the houses are constructed from baked clay I just didn't factor water into the equation!
It is a quite amazing town, almost like a maze as houses link to houses and storeys onto storeys.
You have shown us a place where time seems to have stood still!

I wonder, is it still like this or has technology caught up with Djenné !

Have a lovely Sunday,
Bev :-)

Hello Gert,
You would think that there is a labyrinth in front of us :) The pictures in the workshop give me that impression less or not at all.
The mud architecture surely is so special and even impressive for Europeans. It reminds me a bit of places I've seen in Yemen.
I suppose that regular maintenance is required for these houses.
Beautiful with the palmtree towering above everything and the goats in the WS make a pleasant sight.
Best regards, Paul

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12184 W: 126 N: 21980] (112225)
  • [2018-03-04 2:35]

Hi Gert,intersting pics from your archive another time,this time a jump in the past with the old houses and the typical scene of daily life in the WS,the main pic is very very lovely,a great sensation of peace and quiet and a perfect look on the old typical local houses,well done! Have a nice Sunday and thanks,Luciano

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  • Tue Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9600 W: 57 N: 16384] (60548)
  • [2018-03-04 3:14]

Hello Gert,
A very good photo of this special town, the mud architecture can be admired perfectly and the lonely palm tree rises up very nicely from behind the houses. The person standing there in that deserted place is also well included.

Dobar dan.
Lep pogled, dobar tekst ...
Dobar rad sa lepim fotografijama u radionici, lepo pokazano.
Lepe fotografije dobijene skeniranjem slajdova, lepo secanje.
Zelim vam lep dan za odmor, sve najbolje.

Good day.
Nice view, good text ...
Good work with nice photos in the workshop, beautifully shown.
Nice photos obtained by scanned slides, nice memories.
I wish you a nice day for rest, all the best.

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  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 24936 W: 520 N: 42035] (180190)
  • [2018-03-04 5:14]

Hello Gert,

This is real the poverty of 25 years ago
I think for to see this area as western is a disaster.
Colours and are pleasant to look at.
An excellent panorama view, nice presentation too.
Very well done, TFS.

Best regards,

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  • ChrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 14772 W: 1051 N: 30223] (141791)
  • [2018-03-04 5:26]

Hello Gert,

The yellow straw mat drying in the sun is eye catching. Good sharpness and superb daily life scene. The woman about to enter the main gate animates the scene. Tfs!

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  • Fis2 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10209 W: 161 N: 16898] (129581)
  • [2018-03-04 5:53]

Witaj Gert!
A very curious place, walls make impression.
Good frame, light and colors.
Woman and palm add flavor to this composition.
Well done.
Nice afternoon.

Hello Gert
Again a splendid presentation of this region that nowadays isn’t known specific for this fantastic African architecture. I hope this wold heritage is still in good shape and that we will be able to visit and photograph it in the future, without threatening of terror.
Well done. Have a good Sunday, groet Rob

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  • jmdias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10389 W: 174 N: 18540] (82599)
  • [2018-03-04 7:45]


very special view of the local architecture created with mud. I liked the inclusion of the palm tree and the woman. the horizontal lines of the buildings is interesting and has a nice graphic aspect.

take care


Hello Gert, the mud brick buildings are fascinating and show so clearly in this shot from 1982.
Do they get heavy rain? What happens to their buildings?
The additional shots really set the scene.
Thanks for sharing, regards Jean.

Ciao Gert, great view of fantastic place, lovely composition with walking woman, wonderful colors, excellent clarity and splendid light, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

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  • Nicou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 14379 W: 0 N: 16314] (174773)
  • [2018-03-04 9:26]


Cette dame devant le village avec la natte jaune et ce maison quelle vue et ce palmier qui resswort des maisons quelle compo et vue superbe.
Bravo et amitie

Hi Gert,

This is an impressive set of mud houses, it is probably quite different today. The presence of the person has an effect of scale. The point of view is showing the details of the mud houses. Hopefully, it is still existing due to the unrest in Mali. Have a nice day.


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  • rychem Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3588 W: 0 N: 8388] (59347)
  • [2018-03-04 20:28]

A very nice photo of the traditional architecture, such a simple houses exist in Mali until today, but on internet I found more photos of soldiers and scenes from the life of the army than photos of villages, houses and people
very well done
regards Ryszard

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  • emka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10619 W: 146 N: 26757] (128339)
  • [2018-03-04 22:50]

Hello Gert, The famous mosque in Djenne is my dream to see but it will not be fulfilled :(. This mud architecture is amazing. I have seen something similar (I mean material - mud, not architecture) in Chan Chan in Peru, but there very little remained from the town after centuries. Interesting place. I like these goat and sheep herds . Fantastic document.

Kind regrads MAlgo

Nice scene from that different world. Quite mysterious from outside. Well taken image.


Hi Gert
wow, maybe I don't need to move out of my appartment after all!!!! Be thankful for what you have.

thats quite the 'home'
oh man, it would be amazing to get a tour inside don't you think? I also wonder how it looks today, many years later.

I get the feeling alot of work, labour and effort went into constructing these homes, impressive. wonderful subject content for viewing. cheers

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  • danos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13701 W: 295 N: 27478] (110395)
  • [2018-03-05 2:58]

Hello Gert,
beautiful scene from this area of Mali at '80's.The constructions are fascinating with the woman and the palm tree to adds scale in the scene.I like the presentation with the only green in the scene to be in the center of the image.


Hello Gert,
I wonder if those mud-built houses and walls are now preserved or left to decay, a remote place on earth, not much heard about.
A photo from back in time,the WS's are excellent complementary of daily life.
Good afternoon,

Hello dear Gert and have a nice time
and a happy new day
original version
details taken from you in the best way
showing a different world
an interesting view over those
brick made houses

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  • Cricri Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 16066 W: 159 N: 28010] (147264)
  • [2018-03-05 8:10]

Hi Gert
Belles images sur les liens, les deux WS,
impressionnante ces habitations simple, si pauvre !! la dame ajoute vie a cet endroit particulier
Belle soirée

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  • dale54 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 1693] (13957)
  • [2018-03-05 10:11]

gert hello good evening to you... totally attractive shot with this lone woman it and s to this! wonderful work! dale

Dear Gert,

That lonely woman? in front of those desolate buildings... well, this photo has a heavy atmosphere. Excellent capture!

Best Wishes,

Hi Gert,
Interesting old picture about this country with this traditional architecture, well framed with lady to give life at the view, tfs.

Hello Gert.
An interesting image, which shows the poverty in these areas of the world, despite the 36 years that have passed, I think that this image has not changed much in these years.
Good management of brightness and sharpness.
Well done.
Have a great day.
Very best regards.

Olá Gert,
belas imagens desse sítio mesmo, e curiosas essas contruções. Gostei da tonalidade barrenta predominando no local. Belo trabalho.
Parabéns e Abraço,

Muito interessante estas moradias com as cores uniformes e os canos para escoamento da água. Obrigado por compartilhar!



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  • clic Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2665 W: 0 N: 3149] (21158)
  • [2018-03-07 7:02]

Hallo Gert Despite its low-fi due to blow-up, the soul of creativity in ongoing poverty remains as stryking as in the daily-life reports usually seen in the National Geographic Magazine. Cleverly in this enlargment you located the palmtree right on a vertical tiers line. Hjartliga halsningar

Hello Gert,
Very interesting - I love the textures and the layers of buildings. The mud mosque is unbelievable.

I don't know what you cropped out but I can see this is a very attractive composition with the geometric shapes and the single palm tree providing balance in form of a vertical alternative to the the horizontal lines of the mud walls. The woman is a very important element of the photo.
Great daily life shots in WS too.
Best wishes

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