Multimedia StoryTelling

By the students of MCJ300 at The University of Southern Mississippi

Photo Gallery of Mali musicians fleeing the north

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In Mali musicians flee south

In this photo essay, the lives of musicians on the run from their home is documented. The photographs show them living out of suitcases and surviving. They are determined to protect their art.

Musicians in northern Mali are being targeted and punished for performing their art. Rebels that formerly supported Ghaddafi, the Tuaregs, have joined forces with al-quida groups and other extremists. They are taking over the northern area of Mali. The extreme Islamists believe that any music that is not made to accompany Qur’an verses is against their religion.

 In a telephone interview, one of the Islamists’ top commanders declared that his fighters would continue to target musicians. “We are not only against the musicians in Mali. We are in a struggle against all the musicians of the world,” said Oumar Ould Hamaha, the military leader of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, one of three extremist groups controlling the north.

Mali is known for its rich cultural heritage of the arts, especially music. Famous Mali artists such as Khaira Arby and Drahmane Toure have performed internationally (namely at Bonaroo in Tenessee, and in England)

Now, artists Like Arby and Toure are fleeing from their homes to the capital of Mali, Timbuktu, and neighboring countries to escape the extremist policies against their art.

Arby hasn’t returned to her home in seven months, in fear that she will have her tongue cut from her mouth.

It is sad to see such a wonderful culture stifled by extremism.



Written by apriljana

December 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm

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