Unity: 3 Countries Textile Collaboration

The Three Countries Textile Project brought together artists from Mali, Nigeria and Indonesia for an exchange of ideas, culture and artistic practice. The Nigerians worked in adire and batik, the Malians worked in bogolan and the Indonesians in batik. All were accomplished artists who have been practicing their art for many years.  Three Countries Textile Collaboration used a collaborative creative process to create cultural dialogues crossing local and international boundaries in a search for relevant ancient traditions of our world culture. The goal was to explore cultural heritages to support the development of contemporary world culture.

The renowned Groupe Bogolan Kasobane who pioneered the revitalization of bogolan in Mali hosted this unique cultural exchange. The 10 artists worked together during the month of December 2005 in the studio/conservatory of the Groupe Bogolan Kasobane in Segou Mali.

The artists came together across continents, climates, languages, ways of thinking and working to produce works of art together, exchanging materials, techniques and ideas about art and about culture. The bridging of the African anglophone/francophone divide is especially significant.

The participants were Sangodare Gbadegesin Ajala, Yemisi Ajayi, Kandioura Coulibaly, Kletigui Dembele, Boubacar Doumbia, Nia Fliam, Janet Goldner, Souleymane Goro, Agus Ismoyo, Baba Fallo Keita, Nene Thiam.

The result is an exhibition entitled Union. The title emerged from the communion of the gathered artists.  The project was funded by the Ford Foundation-West Africa, Lagos, Nigeria.  Janet Goldner documented with both still and video images.