Workshops in Mali are currently on hold until future notice

The backbone of Ko-Falen’s programs are its week-long workshops held at the Center in Bamako. Through these programs, we continue to celebrate our cross-cultural exchanges through art, dance, music and ceremony, while also recognizing there are exciting opportunities—and real needs—to help support and sustain the cultures, secret societies and arts of Mali, West Africa.

Through conversations with craftsmen and art communities in Mali, we have collaboratively create projects that support artists and artforms, and their evolution—ensuring artisan communities and families that we honor and value their traditional contributions to our modern society.

For generations, the arts and cultures in Mali have withstood changes in empires, colonization, drought, famine, and political instability. Globalization has caused increased migration of workers. Degradation of the environment has created forced movement of people, and the search for formal education has obliged families to send their children into the cities. These erosions to family in the 21st century hold challenges to the cultures, secret societies and arts of Mali.

Although the domain of artforms and their practices have gone through natural evolutions and have begun to break gender, class and family lines in modern society, many artforms are dying out due to the breakup of the family. To this end, Ko-Falen Cultural Center seeks to support endangered artforms by supporting the family structure.

Our workshops provide the time and space for visitors to experience these centuries-old techniques first-hand as taught by those who’s families have been in the practice for ages.

We invite you to join us by coming to Mali, and participating in these art-making workshops that will not only leave you with a beautiful product, but with a sense of community, mutual understanding and friendship with your Malian neighbors.