Spirit of Mali visits St. Catharines

The Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, with the support of the Departments of Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts at the MIWSFPA, in collaboration with the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures and with the support of Brock International, Social Justice Research Institute, Department of History, Brock University Faculty Association, and the Office of Human Rights and Equity, are collaborating with Solidarité des femmes et familles interconnectées francophones du Niagara (SOFIFRAN, Welland sofifran.org ), the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (FOPAC, St. Catharines firstontariopac.ca ), and Impressions de Terre ( impressionsdeterre.com ), under the patronage of the Embassy of Mali in Ottawa, to produce an exhibit on art and culture from Mali, accompanied by live music performances and documentary films:

Spirit of Mali

with Stève Viès, multidisciplinary artist

February 1-10, 2023
Robertson Theatre, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines ON

Exhibition hours
Wednesday, February 1 and Thursday, February 2: 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Friday, February 3: 12:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Saturday, February 4: 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Sunday, February 5 thru Thursday, February 9: 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Friday, February 10: 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Guided Tour & Discussion / Visite guidée & table ronde: Friday, February 3, 2023,
7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
featuring a guided tour of the exhibition by Stève Viès, curator, followed by a panel discussion about the exhibition and the art, with contributions by Gertrude Brew (graduate student, MA in Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts (SCLA), Brock University), Nafée Faigou (St. Catharines artist, poet and community leader), Olatunji Ojo (Historian, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History, Brock University), Jean Ntakirutimana (linguist and language teacher, Associate Professor of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Brock University).  They will offer reactions, commentary, personal experiences and celebrations of the art on exhibit. This will be followed by a brief Q&A.
All are welcome!

Opening/Vernissage for the arts and cultural program: Saturday, February 4, 2023,
5:30 pm to 8:00 pm, including cocktail reception at 7:00 pm
with guest artist Amadou Kiénou

Closing: Friday, February 10, 2023
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, closing reception
with guest artists Justine Djoléi Gogoua and Amadou Kiénou

The exhibit and special events are free and open to the public.
The exhibit and special events are drop-in, no tickets or registration is required.
Programming will be offered in French and in English.
See the event listing at the FOPAC for more information.

thumbnail of a youtube video to click and start in a new page




See the video produced by Impressions de Terre in our youtube channel.

Listen to the interview by Karl Dockstader of CKTB 610 with Professor Jean Ntakirutimana, Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Brock University.


Listen to the interview by Isabelle Ménard of CBC/Radio-Canada with Stève Viès, artist, educator and curator of the exhibit.  (en français)
Le mois de l’histoire des Noirs : Exposition Esprit du Mali

Read the article in Le Régional (Welland, en français. click to open PDF)
Voici l’écho francophone de l’événement : https://leregional.com/sofifran-presente-la-diversite-culturelle-du-mali/

See the gallery of photographs from the opening events on the SOFIFRAN website.

Exhibition as presented at TOHU of the Cité des arts du cirque in Montreal, QC.

The exhibition

The Spirit of Mali exhibition is the culmination of a remarkable collective effort, orchestrated by Stève Viès and produced by several great master craftsmen of Mali: Boubacar Doumbia, Mamoudo Nango, Tiorri Diarra and Abou Konan

Bogolan textile art and sculptural art are a national pride. Bogolan means ‘the action of clay on fabric’. Earth-colored dyes are made from foliage and bark. Sculpture plays a significant role in cultural tradition and story­ telling. The puppet is used for street theatre and in folk festivals. The Dogon mask dance, or funeral dance, is a sacred and mysterious practice within the rich cultural heritage of Mali.

The Spirit of Mali Exhibition is committed to valuing and preserving traditional knowledge. More than ever, this diverse and beautiful collection of Malian culture expresses an awareness of deep wisdom and rich spirituality. It transmits to us the strength of action in solidarity, weaves the creative web that unites our differences and reminds us of the importance of cultivating peace to make room for prosperity.

The exhibition will be installed in the Robertson Theatre of the FOPAC with smaller elements and digital media to be installed at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts as part of the STAC project: Museum in the Hallway / Boîte-en-valise.

About Stève Viès

Originally from La Loire, France, Stève Viès is a Montreal based artist and educator whose work celebrates the rich cultural heritage and diverse artisan traditions of West Africa.

It was in 2008, in Mali, with his meeting of two great masters of textile art, Boubacar Doumbia and Mamoudou Nango, that his vision to preserve and share this great cultural tradition became clearer.

The Spirit of Mali exhibition is representative of 20 years of passion and exchange for the art and culture of Mandé.

Please check this webpage regularly for program updates. See also the event listing at the FOPAC for more information.

This project is supported by the Faculty of Humanities Dean’s Discretionary Fund and the Social Justice Research Institute at Brock University, as well as Brock International, the Department of History, the Brock University Faculty Association, and the Office of Human Rights and Equity, as well as government and community partners.

A short teaser video of the exhibition including images from when presented at TOHU of the Cité des arts du cirque in Montreal, QC, and including the guest artists Justine Djoléi Gogoua and Amadou Kiénou.

part of:

Festiv’Ébène 2023

produced by SOFIFRAN

A short teaser video about the artists performing at the closing festivities for Festiv’Ébène 2023 on February 25, 2023, at École secondaire catholique Saint-Jean-de-Brébeuf 620, chemin River Welland (Ontario) L3B 5N4.









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