"I welcome this initiative and the “Talents from the outskirts” project launched by the Association SMARTS-Segou, as it allows for a better future for young artists and boosts their careers "; Souleymane GUINDO, a young artist preselected in the visual arts category
"I learnt a lot from “Talents from the outskirts.” This will help me a great deal in my career as a young artist " Pierre Thera, a young artist preselected in the photography category
"Young artists must work hard because only effort pays. I welcome this initiative by SMARTS-Segou and its partners. This project has allowed me to express my talent. I can focus more on music because I realized that I can make a career out of it" Kankou Kouyate, a young artist preselected in the music category
Implemented in Mali by the SMARTS-Segou Association, the goal of the " Talents from the outskirts " project is to develop and promote the artistic and cultural expressions of young people. It aims to do this through promoting the interest of young people in art and culture and in the dynamic, positive effects it can trigger. It aims to do this through the organization of a national competition called "Talents from the outskirts" in order to stimulate innovation and creativity and to promote cultural diversity and expression among young people aged 18-30 years old in the areas of music, visual art and plaiting.
This project is in line with the objectives of the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture (IFPC) due to its focus on the role of culture for development, increased economic returns and the professionalization young people. It was selected as one of nine projects to be co-financed under the IFPC first call for projects.
The project was launched in Segou, at the Foundation Festival on the Niger. The Minister of Culture of Mali, the Governor and the Mayor of Segou, and the administrative and political regional authorities, as well as many cultural actors were all present at the event. The programme officer responsible for Culture at the UNESCO Bamako Office, Ms. Sokona Tounkara was also present and able to witness the importance attributed to this project by the local population
"It is an honour for UNESCO to participate in this event. We were already present in Segou for the Festival on the Niger, which was a great success in this post-crisis context. In Segou, we can feel the rich cultural heritage and a genuine will of the actors to promote artistic creation. Cultural life has truly rekindled in Segou. "
The association SMARTS Segou reiterated that the Segou region is now one of the main cultural capitals of Mali, providing a real opportunity for the development of art and creativity, especially through the Festival on the Niger, the cultural center kore and the modern production studio. The number of new artists is increasing and they need to be supported and guided in order to succeed in their jobs and be able to gain a living through their art – this is also a significant factor in local economic development. The project " Talents from the outskirts " received nearly 180 applications from young artists aged between 18 and 30 years in different categories in the areas of music, plaiting, visual art (drawing and painting) and photography. It offered a space open to various artistic expressions for 180 young candidates through auditions held in Bamako, Segou, Sikasso and Mopti. In each discipline, youth demonstrated innovation and creativity, all of which was as clearly illustrate in the quality of the works proposed.
For more information on the project click here