MMM's "Everything is Possible"

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Monument of Historical Events

A monument is a statue, building, or other edifice created to commemorate a person or important event. They are frequently used to improve the appearance of a city or location. Monuments are also often designed to convey historical or political information. They can be used to reinforce the primacy of contemporary political power, they can be used to educate the populace about important events or figures from the past.

monumen-lindependence-22septembre1960Monument of Independence – The Sudanese Republic and Senegal became independent of France in 1960 as the Mali Federation on 20th June 1960. Following the withdrawal of Senegal from the federation in August 1960, the Sudanese Republic became the independent nation of Mali on 22nd September 1960

Almost every corners and roundabouts in Bamako is endowed with some kind of statue, and in the past few years, one new monument after another has been unveiled. Bamako’s startling arrays of monuments are impressive and useful.  These monuments celebrate past historical events (e.g., Hommage aux Martyrs, Monument à l’Indépendance), national “heroes”  (e.g., Mémorial Modibo Keita, Monument à Abdoul Karim Camara @ Cabral), symbols of traditional culture (crocodile, hippopotamus), and some national key values (e.g., the obelisk that celebrates the peaceful coexistence between different ethnic groups, or the monument dedicated to Kwame Nkrumah that reaffirms Mali’s continuing support of pan-African values)

monument-de-la-paixMonument of Peace – Monument to remember the peace agreement signed with the Touareg on 6 January 1991

With these monumental art, the Malian has become more directly involved in the formation of a collective memory, and by so doing has often been perceived as aiming to undermine the monopoly on state memory held by the griots – a semi-endogamous professional group of bards and praise singers.

jumelage-kati-poteauxOne of monument in Kati, Jumelage Kati Poteaux

Conversations with a number of Malian people from different walks of life and educational backgrounds led me to realise that the monumental art is an extremely controversial issue. Some criticise what they consider useless expenditures given people’s overwhelming poverty. Others take sincere pride in the beautification of the city and in the new images that Mali can offer to visitors. Noteworthy is the fact that the monuments have been quickly incorporated in one of the main family rituals, marriage. On certain days one may easily find numerous wedding parties swinging by a favourite monument to take some pictures with which to remember the day.

hommage-aux-martyrs-venredi-26mars-1991Hommage aux Martyrs – Between January and March 1991, riots demonstrations and strikes by groups of students leds to social and political unstable. Hundreds of students were arrested and killed

hommage-aux-martyrs-26-mars-1991On 26 March 1991 a coup d’etat under the leadership of Colonel Amadou Toumani Touré put an end to Mousa Traoré’s era. During the fourteen-month period of interim rule that followed, Touré and his Comité transitoire de salut du peuple (CTSP) took a number of important steps toward developing a democratic state, such the organization of a national conference to discuss and organize the transition to democracy, and the coordination of the first multiparty elections (1992). In January 1992 a new constitution was adopted, which marked the beginning of Mali’s Third Republic.

la-tour-de-lafriqueTower of Africa, stands 46m high, rising above the smog over the OAU Boulevard that leads south out of the Bamako city. This tower of African Unity, it is meant to be a giant baobab, with its tall, cylindrical shape and bulbous swelling at the top.

In 25th May 1963 as the Organization of African Unity (OAU), predecessor of the African Union (AU), was born in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. African Union is very significant because it expresses the desire for integration of states in the continent.

This is part one of 4 series about monument in Bamako

mamadou

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