Saturday, January 26, 2013


TAP, the Portuguese airline, had the charming idea of cancelling my  Bamako flight today, thereby taking charge of me and  putting me up at  quite a decent hotel In Lisbon in order to fly me out tomorrow morning with a much more civilized hour of arrival- midday in Bamako rather than midnight!
 And as an extra bonus I had an evening in Lisbon. Now, why don’t people rave on about Lisbon? It is surely one of the most magnifcent cities in the world? I mean, up there with Paris and Stocknolm, non?


Blogger David said...

Non (and at the risk of offending your own capital city, I'm not sure I would put Stockholm up there with Paris either). But I haven't been there for ages, and I'm glad you had a pleasant time. Good news about Gao. Bon voyage demain. xx

11:10 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Well although I am biased of course, but I can't imagine not putting Stockholm at the very top three or four most beautiful cities of the world- I mean it simply IS! What is YOUR list of five most splendid cities in the world? You show me yours:
I show you mine.

4:10 PM  
Blogger David said...

Well, I haven't seen them all, but so far, and sticking to once or present capitals/quasi-capitals: London, of course; Prague for beautiful centre; Paris; Rome; St Petersburg. Which is unfair on 6-10, which would be headed by New York, of course.

Glad things are humming in Bamako. Do you know that on the evening of the day you left Basseko Kouyate and co were at the Barbican? I so wanted to go, but was pledged to a not exactly transporting Dream of Gerontius at the Festival Hall (because I'd taken part in the discussion before the concert - otherwise I'd have been off...)

11:41 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

If it is a question of LIKING BEST, then London would be on my list of course. The list would go: London, Amsterdam, New Orleans, Paris,New York.
But for BEAUTY this is my list: Paris, Venice,Stockholm, New York and yes, possibly Lisbon. But things change, and fortunately I haven't seen everywhere yet!
And yes, it would have been great to have been at the Barbicn for the Mali concert!

2:51 AM  
Blogger David said...

I was being limited with capital cities - Venice would be No. 1 of the beauties, definitely. I admit I have to see Stockholm in sunshine rather than drizzly grey November half-light. But that may be remedied when we go to Drottningholm in August! Here's to that.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Kim Hart said...

Hi Sophie - we did go to the Bassekou concert - buying those tickets back in Sept last year with no idea quite how critically important the concert would be - and it was utterly brilliant! Andy Morgan - he of the andymorganwrites blog I mentioned before - introduced the evening with some passionate words about Mali and was able to add he had received a tweet on the way to the Barbican saying that Gao airport had just been taken - much applause! He also wrote an extensive programme note on the background of the situation which everyone got a copy of - more interesting reading. Bassekou, who doesnt speak much English, still managed to convey his own horror on what is happening in his own country with much thanks to the French and much disgust at the implications of Sharia law - he was on the first day of recording his new album when Timbuctoo was taken. The other two acts represented more of Malis musical breadth with Sidi Toure from Gao and Tamikrest who are Touregs.
Couple of other things - present in the foyer were the 'Mali Development Group' which we hadnt heard of but signed up for more info - they have a blog: which looks pretty good ... the other thing was that there were several stalls in the Barbican foyer selling African craft - clothing, jewellery, etc. There was lots of interest - a massive crowd in fact - and I did see some people actually buying! The Barbican always do this for their World Music gigs - relevant to the music origins - and I dont know why I hadnt thought of it before - but it could be an interesting opportunity for MaliMali? No idea who one might contact at the Barbican but having just run a conference there I expect I could find out if you though it might be useful?

12:12 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

I wish I had been there! it sound amazing....
The Mali Development Group send me things all the time. I send them responses and links to this blog when I have mentioned something relevant. Tehy have never ever replied.
And as far as African Craft at the Batbican goes: I am not sure we are African enough. I have not wanted to promote us as 'African'. We are of course using an African textile technique, but the patterns have nothing to do with Africa. But perhaps wothe a try..

11:25 PM  
Blogger Kim Hart said...

Hi Sophie - goodness me we can hardly keep up with events in Mali in between watching Africa Cup of Nations which for once is getting quite decent coverage on terrestrial TV - we went to the tournament a few years ago when it was in Ghana.
Re the Barbican - the two stalls I looked at were selling things of African origin rather than your typical carved tourist mask - one of them was: Nothing as beautiful as the MaliMali range - though the women who runs this does have more typical African items on her website she bought the more contemporary fashion items to the Barbican. Another thought of course would be having a stall at WOMAD which I know is not cheap and is always heavily over subscribed (my day job is with festivals) but there is a strong ethical ethos and many people selling all kinds of items of contemporary design which have an underlying ethnic authenticity or origin - selling to a pretty well heeled and knowledgeable audience ... just another thought. I myself am looking greedily at your boots at the moment ...

10:16 AM  

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