Mali in Transition: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Mohamed Alher Ag Almahdi, a Malian Tuareg manuscript conservationist
Organised by the Centre of African Studies and SOAS, University of London, the MBI Al Jaber Foundation was a key sponsor for this two day conference in central London. Participants included academics, aid workers, policy strategists, and artisans. Four panels focused on the following themes:
• Interdisciplinary perspectives on the crisis
• Emergency crisis and impact of humanitarian action
• Heritage and conservation
• Historical perspectives and future scenarios
A range of material was presented. Highlights included a joint presentation by Mohamed Alher Ag Almahdi, a Malian Tuareg manuscript conservationist and David Jacobs, a senior conservationist at the British Library. Together they discussed their collaboration on the restoration of ancient books in Timbuktu. Julian Richards, another notable presenter, hosted a screening of his 2006 film, With the Nomads, a documentary about nomadic life in West Africa.
This is the second conference devoted to discussing challenges in Mali that the MBI Al Jaber Foundation has supported. Previously the Foundation helped convene a meeting at UNESCO in Paris to identify sites of cultural heritage in Mali that are at risk of deterioration or destruction.