Legendary festival Segou’Art held its 18th edition in Mali on the banks of the Niger river despite the sanctions and embargo imposed by ECOWAS that led to the interruption of direct flights as well as border closures.

Despite the difficulties, Malian artists have shown their resilience and solidarity, among them several young female artists committed to women’s rights.

Almost half of dozen musicians scheduled for the big concert – a landmark event on the banks of the Niger River – were women.

Mariam Koné is a rising star of the new generation.

She told us about the role of women in Malian society.

“My song “Soïna Mousso” pays tribute to women. In spite of the household chores, the education of the children, she is always asked to keep smiling”, said singer Mariam Koné.

About fifty young artists from West Africa took part in the competition of Ségou’Art – the contemporary art section of the festival.

Indépendance Dognon received the 3rd prize of Segou’Art for her series of sculptures entitled “Douleurs” which represent the pain caused by breast cancer.

“It’s really to represent the pain and destruction of this disease. You will see that on the sculpture there is a missing part. It’s really to show that breast cancer is not only the breasts that are cut off, it’s really a part of the person that is removed” explained the visual artist from Mali.

The dancer and performer Bibata Maïga from Gao in northern Mali is also part of the new contemporary dance scene in West Africa.

Her performance “L’Esprit de l’eau” is dedicated to the divinity of the river Niger.

“My aim is to magnify women and to show the natural powers that exist in every woman”, said the dancer.

Bibata’s performance ended on the Niger River – a symbol of power in Malian culture.


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