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Cultural Heritage in Mali in the Neoliberal Era$
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Rosa De Jorio

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040276

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040276.001.0001

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Remembering the Colonial Past

Remembering the Colonial Past

(p.53) 2. Remembering the Colonial Past
Cultural Heritage in Mali in the Neoliberal Era

Rosa De Jorio

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the state memorialization of the colonial past via narratives, practices, and visual culture. First, it briefly describes some of the ways in which French colonization was represented during the period of the one-party state (1960–1991), using them as a benchmark against which to gauge changes in those representations by the democratic and neoliberal state that followed. Second, it examines the state memorialization of French colonization since 1991, focusing on the Koulouba monument complex in Bamako, the largest series of monuments dedicated to Mali's colonial history. It details the emergence of a new narrative of colonization that suggests contacts, hybridity, and cross-feeding—a representation reflecting some of the experiences and narratives of Mali's cosmopolitan political and cultural elites. Third, it analyze Ségouvian citizens' perspectives on the government's memorialization project in light of their experience with state encroachment on their city's patrimony. This final section centers on the confrontation between the state and peripheral urban communities over the management of the colonial heritage and explores some of its political and cultural implications, including the embryonic development of a few private heritage initiatives in Ségou.

Keywords:   state memorialization, postcolonial Mali, colonial past, French colonization, Koulouba monument, Ségouvian citizens, colonial heritage

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