QUOTATION # 78.

[ABOUT BERT FLINT’S WINDOW ON AFRICA.]

“The history of the peoples of the Saharan diaspora is marked by the emergence of identifying factors and by movements of political unification, for example in the great kingdoms and empires of Ghana – the empires of Wagadou and Mali to name but two.

From a more cultural point of view, pastoral populations played an essential role as intermediaries between the diverse peoples who occupied the Sahara and trans-Saharan  regions….Tuareg, Fulani, Hausa….the Dyula who were actively engaged in commerce.

….(to proceed) subtly, …..to stop and focus on a precise cultural component, to go back or go forward in time and space…………this approach is very pertinent and perfectly reflects the complexity of interactions and links that exist between the populations.”

“Some categories of objects such as tent stakes, beds, jewellery and carpets also act as leading threads.

The examination and appropriate analysis of the techniques applied, the background and iconographic motifs reveal multiple contributions from indigenous traditions, be they Mediterranean, Middle Eastern or Sub-Saharan.

Such study allows us a clearer understanding of the dynamics governing the evolution of both social and economic identity.”

“Ancient or modern, material production from the Saharan and trans-Saharan regions are archives within which rests a great history and therefore they constitute a priceless heritage.

At this time of globalization, of climate change and the increase in extremist ideologies, it is urgent that we revive the memory of the cultural unit that characterized the Saharan and trans-Saharan region whose footprints are still visible in most of the artisanal traditions of today.”

“The Tiskiwin Museum has been, for many years the foundation of a future great museum of Africa supported by researchers from the countries of the Saharan diaspora.

This project……awaits a strong signal to allow it to come into being.

The work of Bert Flint is fully part of the initiatives driving this goal…..driven by the awareness of a common heritage with immense potential.”

MANUEL VALENTIN.

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