Many things have changed during the last ten years in Mali. With the construction of a tarred road Nara has come out of its isolation. There is cell phone reception and internet access now in Nara. A friend said to me the other day: “These pictures are beautiful memories and you must tell the stories that belong to them”. The stories can be told easily but the problem is to find the right angle and to link them to the present, since they are my memoirs from the past.
The two pictures show a group of children in the village of Keybane Soninke. The children in the villages of the “Cercle de Nara” can be called without exaggerating ” the greatest inventors on earth”. There was nothing to play with. At least not something that could be called a toy in a traditional or classical way. The contrast between a child raised in a first world country and a child raised in a small village in the Sahel could not be greater.
Extreme poverty creates extreme creativty. Anything could and would be turned into a toy, provided it was interesting enough and it was not needed by the adults anymore.
Is the scenario still the same today or has the arrival of technology als changed the life of the children in the villages. The only way to find out for me is to go back there!