Post Cultuur: Nederlandse ambassades met budget voor cultuur en ontwikkeling


FENNY STEENKS : "Art is one of the largest fortunes in the extremely poor country of Mali. It is an expression of the large number of cultures living together here. Well-known musicians from Mali such as singer Ali Farka Touré, Salif Keita and Kora player Toumani Diabaté are rooted in local traditions. Modern art plays a relatively minor role here but this sector is developing.

The cultural infrastructure is very limited and practically non-existent outside the capital. However, government expenditure on culture has increased substantially in recent years.

The cultural field in Mali is small. The embassy has contacts with government bodies and cultural organizations. These are usually small NGOs with limited capacity. For most activities we are directly approached by various players in the cultural field.

The Netherlands has been active for over 10 years in protecting clay brick architecture in Djenné and the Dogon valley. The National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, the Malian Ministry of Culture and the National Museum of Mali are working closely together on this.

The leading project at the moment is supporting the Ministry of Culture in the realization of the Sahel Opera, a Prince Claus Fund project. The world premiere took place in Bamako on Saturday 17 February. The theme of this African opera is illegal immigration.

The main part, Bintou Wéré, is performed by Djeneba Kone, a young woman who comes from a very poor background. This unknown artist (with a magnificent voice) has been given a unique opportunity. This is a wonderful example for many young people in Mali and in other countries who often have no confidence in a future in their own country and believe to have much better opportunities outside Africa."


Culture Budget341.000 euro Since2004

Major projectsThe Sahel Opera | Protecting clay brick architecture in Djenné and the Dogon valley

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