At a time when Mali lives an unprecedented political and identity crisis, we need more than ever to promote some of our values to get out of this abyss created by this situation. Today more than ever, Malians need to gather around what unites them. Today more than ever, the sons of this country must talk to each other, understand each other, and forgive each other. Because, dialogue is the best way to peace. Yes, dialogue to appease hearts; dialogue to learn from the past; dialogue to know and recognize each other; dialogue to accept each other despite our differences; dialogue to define the basic elements that will form the basis of the new Mali; dialogue to promote cultural diversity. Mali is characterized by the wealth of its artistic and cultural expressions. From Kidal to Kayes, each population has its particularity. And it is this mosaic that has always made the charm of this country.

It’s easier to win a war than to build a lasting peace based on cultural diversity. After war, begins another fight, that of reconciliation and reconstruction. This struggle for lasting peace is a major challenge, but also a real opportunity.

Malians must have the spirit of belonging to one nation: a history, a culture, a community. According to Martin Luther King, Jr., “We must learn to live together like brothers or we will all perish together like fools.”

An unprecedented opportunity open to us: reconciliation of Malians through the use of our cultural values. Because, what unites us (Mali) is more important than what divides us. To do this would require that Malians, beyond the political vicissitudes and cultural differences, unite around essential things and put their genius and talent at the service of our homeland. So, we need to answer these nagging questions: How to live together in complementarity? How to move from a “clash of cultures” to a real intercultural dialogue? How to initiate change for the emergence of a new Mali?

In this context, the sector of arts and culture must be put at the forefront and assume its historic mission by rallying all the sons of this country around the preservation and safeguarding of the cultural heritage of Mali.

The Concept of “Talks and Debates”

KYA Network’s cultural actors are aware that it is by a good understanding of the terms “Dialogue” and “Cultural Diversity” that young generation can better tackle the challenges of building a new Mali, and avoid past mistake. Thus, according to its program “an action and a vision to build the future”, KYA Network offers a series of talks and debates in Bamako, Ségou and Mopti, with the

youth and intellectuals of our country; in order to contribute to the search of a lasting peace, to support change, national reconciliation and to contribute to Mali’s rebirth. These exchanges, we want democratic and respectful of local values, will be in French and Bambara languages, with the participation of all social strata of Mali. Recommendations from the various meetings will be widely distributed and transmitted to the highest institutions of the Republic.

The project of talks and debates by KYA Network will be a platform of giving and receiving, with a panel of resource persons, guest from the civil society and a great participation of young people.

The project is implemented in partnership with the Department of Culture, the Junior Chamber International of Mali and supported by the Norwegian center for culture and development, Mimeta.

The first talk will be held on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at the Palais de la Culture Amadou Hampaté BA in Bamako, at 9 am.

For more information, please contact Attaher MAÏGA, Project Manager and KYA Network’s Secretary General at:

AuthorHege Aasgaard