Panel: "French Security in the Sahel"


Location: Elizabeth E. Nanovic Seminar Room (1050 Nanovic Hall)

In partnership with the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies is pleased to welcome three world-class Malian musicians to Notre Dame for a week of immersive activities on campus.  

A poor, landlocked, Muslim-majority country in western Africa, Mali has long been known as a world music powerhouse and the cradle of American blues music. Mali also maintains a fascinating relationship with European culture, given its French colonial status and francophonie. Since an armed rebellion in 2012, Mali has experienced a protracted crisis of insecurity. The peace process remains stalled and there is greater insecurity than ever with the increasing presence of jihadist groups associated with Al Qaeda.  


The three visiting musicians -- Ahmed Ag Kaedi, Dramane Toure, and Belco Guido -- are from northern Mali, a region which spent nearly a year under Islamist occupation in 2012-2013 and continues to be plagued by rebel groups and bandits. For Malian musicians, this crisis has meant direct threats from jihadist groups, the inability to perform in much of the country, as well as the cancellation of many festivals which once brought scores of international tourists to the country. The three musicians represent three distinct ethnic groups, Tuareg, Songhoy, and Dogon, from three different geographic regions who have very different experiences of the crisis.  


These three musicians have been committed to finding a peaceful resolution through music including through participation in the Peace Caravan – a traveling concert that encouraged cross cultural exchange and discussion to promote peace:  


This visit will highlight their perceptions and lived experience as francophone musicians living and working in Mali, and how peacemaking is built into their craft.


The panel will be introduced and moderated by Jaimie Bleck, a Ford Family Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame.


Areas of Interest: peace and conflict, international development, Francophone culture, European art cinema, French history, Islam, music, Africana Studies, and West Africa. 

Related Events

Mali Blues (2017)

Friday, April 13, 2018 9:30PM
Browning Cinema

Directed by Lutz Gregor 
With Ahmed Ag Kaedi, Fatoumata Diawara, Bassékou Kouyaté 
Not Rated, 90 minutes, DCP 
In Bambara and French with English subtitles 

The vibrant documentary of the Malian music scene, which was the birthplace of blues music, follows four artists: Fatoumata "Fatou" Diawara is a rising star on the global pop scene (memorably featured in Abderrahmane Sissako's acclaimed drama Timbuktu), Bassekou Kouyate is a celebrated ngoni player and traditional griot, Master Soumy is a young street rapper influenced by hip-hop, and Ahmed Ag Kaedi is the leader of the Tuareg band Amanar and a guitar virtuoso. Each combines rich musical traditions with contemporary influences (including, interestingly, Dire Straits) to find a respected and prominent position in the world music scene. 

Ahmed Ag Kaedi, from the film, will be at Notre Dame on April 19 and 20 live-scoring Carl Dreyer’s silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc