Cultural Life in Mali: “No one wanted this war.”

Posted on September 28, 2012


From an excellent perspective on the cultural decimation in Mali:

So much has already been threatened – from the Al-Farouk statue in Timbuktu so unceremoniously decapitated, to the tombs of saints smashed with pick axes, their destruction recorded on mobile phones. Invaluable research work into Mali’s history has been put on hold – the entire team of the Ahmed Baba centre, which houses some 40,000 ancient Arabic manuscripts in Timbuktu, has gone into exile in Bamako. The books have been left behind without guarantees that they will be kept in special lighting and air conditioning units; other private libraries have also been forced to close. Two major archaeological digs supported by foreign universities – one in Dogon Country which had revealed evidence of continuous settlement in the area for 100,000 years, and the other in Segou which suggested the town is actually two or three hundred years older than first thought – have been forced to stop.

The full article, Mali: Time to Assert Continuing Cultural Diversity After the Coup, offers a broader perspective on the cultural response to the assault on culture in Mali and is absolutely worth a read.