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Photographer's Note

I enjoyed my stay in Burkina Faso (Upper Volta) in 1982, but after a month in that safe and friendly country I had other things to do, so I proceeded to Mali, where my first stop was the capital Bamako.

I found Bamako another safe and friendly city, and indeed the entire country was a very nice experience (although travelling was not always easy and rarely comfortable). Today, unfortunately, Mali has become very unsafe because of frequent terrorist attacks by islamist militias and separatists. The combined strength of UN troops and the national army can barely uphold peace.

In those days Bamako had a population of about half a million, today it has grown to about 2 million. I would guess the increase is partly due to the influx of refugees from the unstable northern parts. It had much more of a big city atmosphere than the neighbouring capital Ouagadougou, which was more like an overgrown village, but in spite of its size it was a surprisingly laid back city.

Today's two photos were taken in a market area. You can see that most people were traditionally dressed and that the Muslim influence was strong, much more than in Burkina Faso, where there is a large Christian minority. But although about 95 % of the population in Mali are Muslims, the atmosphere was totally different from that in the Middle East or North Africa, at least in the early 1980's.

Judging from Wikipedia this is still generally the case:

"According to the 2005 U.S. Department of State’s annual report on religious freedom, Islam as traditionally practiced in Mali was characterized as moderate, tolerant, and adapted to local conditions. Women were allowed to participate in social, economical and political activities and generally do not wear veils, except for some Tuareg women."

I don't remember taking any of today's photos, but it seems the WS was from the same place as the main photo. Both of them were as usual scanned from Kodachrome slides.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10364 W: 528 N: 20095] (88279)
  • Genre: People
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 1982-02-00
  • Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
  • Date Submitted: 2020-06-03 0:16
Viewed: 0
Points: 58
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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10364 W: 528 N: 20095] (88279)
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