The Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI) supports musicianship and music making – both amateur and professional – for and within displaced communities.
Though support for music and other forms of cultural expression is often viewed as a low priority in humanitarian assistance programmes for refugees, AKMI believes that art and music offer a unique resource that can sustain hope and provide an intangible yet indestructible link to cultural memory, which can eventually become the catalyst of cultural revitalisation.
UNHCR and Aga Khan Music Initiative present Malian artists at UN World Refugee Day
Geneva, Switzerland, 20 June 2017 – Malian artist and educator Fodé Lassana Diabaté, an artist on the Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI) roster, and three of his students who comprise the Balaba Ensemble, were the featured performers for the 2017 commemoration of World Refugee Day at the headquarters of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva today.
The event follows the successful performance of AKMI’s Basel Rajoub and his Soriana Project for World Refugee Day in 2016.
First marked in 2001, World Refugee Day is observed each year on 20 June to commemorate the “strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees,” according to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
Fodé Lassana Diabaté is part of the artist roster of the Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI), which supports musicians and music educators from 11 countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East in their efforts to preserve, revitalise and transmit their musical heritage to new generations of artists and audiences.
In 2014, artist and educator, Lassana Diabaté, partnered with AKMI, to begin an arts and music education programme for school-age children in Bamako, within the framework of the “Jeudis Musicaux des Enfants” (Musical Thursdays for Children) project. This project, commissioned and curated by the AKMI, aims to provide traditional music education, as well regular performance opportunities at the Mali National Park, which was rehabilitated by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
For the commemoration of World Refugee Day, the Balaba Ensemble was joined by a distinguished and very special guest: Malian guitar virtuoso, Samba Diabaté.
Read the complete press release at Aga Khan Development Network | UNHCR and Aga Khan Music Initiative present Malian artists at UN World Refugee Day
Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali