Mirage on the Sahara? Timbuktu and Mali, Yesterday and Today
Richard Woodward, Curator of African Art, VMFA
Often thought of as a “verbal mirage” meaning the farthest place imaginable, Timbuktu was essential to the economy of broad stretches of West Africa for many centuries as well as a noted center of learning where books and manuscripts were valued as much as gold. Today, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been thrust into a dramatically pivotal role in Mali’s sudden struggle with democracy and partition. This talk will survey the stunning history of art and culture in Mali and Timbuktu from the earliest times to today.