“On March 21, 2012, a coup in Bamako overthrew a democratically elected government. As a result of this coup, various armed groups in the north of Mali have taken over the three regions of Gao, Timbuktu, and Kidal. There are many political implications, but the main concern of African Sky is how to offer Humanitarian support to all Malians in the north, regardless of ethnicity, as they suffer through severe food insecurity and lack of resources for health care.”
At the following link, you can read information from Scott Lacy (Executive Director), Tamba Traore (North Country Director), and Kate Lechner (Managing Director) on how the situation will affect African Sky, and how you can help.
Despite the ongoing conflict, the compressed stabilized earth blocks for our first school have been pressed and are now baking in the sun. Construction of the school is expected to begin on schedule.
In the years to come, architecture will become as important as ever for the people of Mali. For many Malians, this realization is the product of unfortunate circumstances. Within the last week, the Al-Qaeda linked group Ansar-Dine has destroyed seven out out of sixteen ancient shrines in the city of Timbuktu. The remaining nine mausolea are likely to be razed under the power of Ansar-Dine. The destruction of these treasures, which were recently added to UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites, is a great loss to Timbuktu’s long-time residents. Other sacred features, such as a 15th century door at the Sidhi Yahya mosque in Timbuktu (which was only to be opened on the day that the world ends), have been destroyed by Ansar-Dine.
As Mali’s heritage is wounded by the loss of these iconic structures, it becomes increasingly important that we do our best to add to the discourse of Malian architectural history by making functionally and stylistically progressive public buildings that remain sensitive to culture, tradition, and environment.