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Contemporary Mali: Music, Culture, and Conflict

Contemporary Mali with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Thursday, October 9, 6:00 p.m.

The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium Show location on map

Dr. Gates in conversation with writer and filmmaker Manthia Diawara and executive director of the world-renowned Festival Au Désert of Timbuktu, Mohamed Ali Ansar.

Music is a political language in Mali, reflecting cultural changes, ideas of African unity, and issues of equality and rights. The Festival Au Désert, currently exiled from Mali due to political instability, is the most remote music festival in the world and yet attracts many of the greatest rock and blues musicians. With the current conflict, rising bans on music, and invading militants, Ansar will talk about the symbolic importance of the Festival and what its return to Timbuktu would mean for Mali. Diawara discusses the incredible reach and appeal of Malian music, and how the lives of contemporary Malians are reflected through their music. 

View the series.

This program is in conjunction with the Mali Now series celebrating contemporary Malian music, culture, and politics.

Tickets to this event include Museum admission.

Above: Figure: Pair of Balafon Players, 18th–early 19th century, Dogon Peoples, Mali. Wood, metal, H. 15 7/16 x W. 5 3/4 x D. 6 1/2 in. (39.3 x 14.6 x 16.5 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979 (1979.206.131)

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Featuring: Artist in Residence The Civilians, Attacca Quartet, Ryoji Ikeda's Superposition, John Zorn, Salif Keita, Cory Arcangel, Christopher Taylor, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Anna Wintour, and more.

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The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium and the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education are equipped with infrared sound enhancement systems (with headsets and neck loops). To obtain a headset or neck loop please ask an usher. Headsets and neck loops are available free of charge with identification. Real-time captioning is also available upon request.