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Music Freedom Day theme: Musicians in Mali

21 December 2012

Over 3,500 musicians are reported to have been seriously affected by the religious ban on music in northern Mali. Many have left the region in order to be able to continue their lives as musicians. On Music Freedom Day 3 March 2013, Mali will be a focus area of the advocacy campaign.

Freemuse will publish a report about Mali on 28 February 2013. You can read an excerpt of it here:

Mali: The day the music stopped

Click to open the article in PDF

“We do not want Satan’s music,” said an Islamist spokesman as he banned the broadcasting of all western music from his stronghold in Gao, a city that finds itself within the most literal and brutal Sharia jurisdiction in the world today; the ‘red zone’ in northern Mali. The region is also home to the world-renowned ‘Festival in the Desert’ whose director Manny Ansar remains confident that no one can kill Malian music. “We’re dealing with people who don’t know what they’re doing and who won’t win,” he told journalist Andy Morgan.

Read the article by Andy Morgan: PDF | Webpage


More on Mali

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Conference session about music in Mali
 

ALL THAT IS BANNED IS DESIRED

Session recording from the first World Conference on Artistic Freedom of Expression, held in Oslo, Norway, in October 2012

Speaker: Manny Ansar, Festival Director (Mali)
Moderator: Daniel Brown, Journalist (France)
Performance: Terakaft (Mali)

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The Guardian – 15 January 2013:
Mali music ban by Islamists ‘crushing culture to impose rule’
Rebels’ clampdown on live performances, from Amadou and Mariam to Tinariwen, is driving music underground. By Robin Denselow

 
NPR, All Things Considered – 8 January 2013:
Despite Censorship, Mali’s Musicians Play On5 minutes radio report – plus music from Mali. Transcript of the radio report

 
The Washington Post / Sydney Morning Herald – 8 December 2012:
Day the music died: Islamist extremists steal the voice of Mali musicians
A once-rich music region has become an artistic wasteland. Interviews with Khaira Arby and Baba Salah. By Sudarsan Raghavan.

 
BBC News – 6 December 2012:
Blues for Mali as Ali Farka Toure’s music is banned
After making northern Mali’s “Blues” music famous around the world, Ali Farka Toure is a legend in his home town of Niafunke, where he was mayor until his death in 2006. By Thomas Fessy

 
PRI’s The World – 2 November 2012:
Next generation of Mali musicians face a country that won’t let them perform
(Radio report, 4:39 minutes)
Mali is in the throes of an uprising between the country’s Islamic fundamentalists and its nomadic, indigenous Tuareg people. The Islamists are on top and have banned all “non-devotional” music. And that’s totally upended what was once a vibrant music scene.

 
Deutche Welle – 25 October 2012:
Islamists ban traditional storytellers in Mali
Islamic groups are imposing sharia law in northern Mali. Secular music is banned along with performances by griots, the traditional African singers and storytellers, who in earlier times, used to act as mediators.

 
Artsfreedom.org – 31 August 2012:
Report from Bamako: Can musical Mali play on?
Islamism is on the march and threatening to wipe out the country’s cultural heritage, wrote freelance journalist Rose Skelton in the British newspaper The Independent on 18 August 2012.

 
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