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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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The Heritagization of Islamic and Secular Architecture

The Heritagization of Islamic and Secular Architecture


(p.95) 4. The Heritagization of Islamic and Secular Architecture
Cultural Heritage in Mali in the Neoliberal Era

Rosa De Jorio

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses the challenges encountered by state and quasi-state organizations in transforming some of the Djenné-based sacred sites into public heritage sites. It analyzes the centrality of Sudanese architecture in colonial and postcolonial representations of Mali, including the construction of models of the Great Mosque of Djenné in the context of worldwide expositions featuring Mali's artistic and artisanal products. It highlights some of the additional challenges (and possibilities) opened up by the inscription of the towns of Djenné on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list and Djennenkés' critical perspectives on the criteria and objectives overseeing the management of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Through an analysis grounded in a postcolonial revision of Bennett's exhibitionary complex, the chapter also addresses state and quasi-state attempts to diversify the selection of the cultural patrimony to be restored. It examines the reinvention of the youth house of the Saho, which is being reconceived in bureaucratic reports and the media as an example of Mal's secular patrimony. Such transformations in state narratives of the Saho represent an effort to mitigate opposition by religious leaders—whose perspectives are shaped not merely by religious concerns but also by an array of other considerations (including economic and political ones).

Keywords:   UNESCO World Heritage Site, postcolonial Mali, Djenné, public heritage sites, Sudanese architecture, secular patrimony, Saho, youth house

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