Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just over one week in Djenne: what is happening?
I am keeping my head down, only thinking of work, in the shape of textile experiments. I cannot bear to raise my gaze on the reality around me. Oh, it is not that there is obvious suffering here, visible as one enters Djenne. No, the young men continue their late afternoon football in front of my sunset view of the Mosque, the Monday market, with its horse drawn carts brimming over with produce from the surrounding villages takes place as usual. But it does not bear to scratch the surface. The most dreadful fact is possibly that large shipments of grain destined for the refugees from the north and for the poor of Djenne, delivered here as donations from the Red Cross and a Catholic aid organization the name of which now escapes me, has quite simply been confiscated by a faction in the Djenne authorities and sold on to a rich merchant here. This is common knowledge in Djenne, everyone knows who is responsible, but no one does anything about it. ‘But why?’ I wail, ‘You have to denounce the guilty ones, you have to gather witnesses and proof and , if necessary, take it to Bamako and the Ministry of the Interior!’ ‘Ah, yes, of course we should...’ Yes of course you are right ...’ but the fact is that no one will do anything about it. The poor have no faith in the authorities, and who can blame them after all?


Blogger mary said...

How sad to hear about the redistribution of wealth. Could you, should someone tell the aid agencies so they can organise a more effective distribution of their aid? After all this is a reason often cited for people not giving to charities.
The indigo workshops sound wonderful and I am sure you will produce something with a great sideways slant on the beautiful indigo fabrics already produced in the area.

5:34 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Thank you Mary! I have found two of your people, the chap from Sibi is still on the list! will deliver once in Bamako, next week.
Yes indeed, it is a sad tale. The Red Cross should not just hand stuff over to the local authorities but supervise the distribution, with guards if necessary! There is not much I can do, except say that if anyone wants to give anything to Djenne, there is alsways our donations page on
We will distribute whatever you want to give, with hired armed guards if necessary!

7:43 PM  
Blogger Gilliane said...

Oh dear, what injustice. Really unfair.

8:14 PM  

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