Cover image: Teaching about Mali

Teaching about Mali

As French troops go in to the West African country of Mali, we thought it might be useful to provide teachers with a bit of background information about the country and the current situation. The situation is constantly changing but the following news articles give useful background to the current crisis. Some African perspectives and news reports on Mali: The 2006 film Bamako, written and directed by Abderrahmane Sissako, puts the West, the World Bank and the IMF on a 'mock trial' for the effect their policies have had on the people of Mali and other countries in Africa. You can view a trailer for Bamako on YouTube.

Some tasters of Mali's history and culture

From about from the 13th to the 17th centuries AD Mali was a very wealthy kingdom, with the city of Timbuktu a major centre of trade and learning. Mali has a very rich musical tradition and there has been considerable cross-fertilization of styles with musicians from across the world. In response to the situation in Mali, Fatoumata Diawara has gathered over 40 of the country's musicians to record this video and song calling for peace. Plan UK has some background on daily life in Mali for children and young people: Take Mali is a Key Stage 2 & 3 teaching resource which uses the country of Mali to develop international understanding. Find out more, and order, via the Take Mali website. The photo at the top of the page is Djenné mud mosque and market by Carsten ten Brink on and used under a creative commons licence.