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Janet Goldner
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Park Slope

ARTIST STATEMENT: My work bridges diverse cultures, focusing on the unique beauty and genius of each as well as what we have in common. It explores culture, identity and social justice working in various media: sculpture, photography, video, installation and writing. Cultural preservation is important to my work. Annual visits to Mali provide me with inspiration which is then transformed in my artistic practice. My social consciousness and deep and continuing interest in African art and culture also fuel the work.

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The funeral took place in Molasso, Mali in December 2010.

The funeral took place in Molasso, Mali in December 2010.

Mali Mode was a fashion show that took place at the Museum of Bamako, Mali in October 2008 in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name. It features traditional and contemporary Malian costumes and accessories by Kandioura Coulibaly and the Groupe Bogolan Kasobane.

The Three Countries Textile Project brought together artists from Mali, Nigeria and Indonesia for an exchange of ideas, culture and artistic practice. The Nigerians work in adire and batik, the Malians work in bogolan and the Indonesians in batik. All are accomplished artists who have been practicing their art for many years. The project took place in Segou, Mali in 2005 and was funded by the Ford Foundation-West Africa, Lagos, Nigeria. Artists included Sangodare Ajala (Nigeria), Yemisi Ajayi (Nigeria), Kandioura Coulibaly (Mali) Kletigui Dembele (Mali), Boubacar Doumbia (Mali), Nia Fliam (Indonesia), Janet Goldner (USA/Mali), Souleymane Goro (Mali), Agus Ismoyo (Indonesia), Baba Keita (Mali/Italie), Nene Thiam (Mali) Janet Goldner produced and shot this video.

Mali: An Invitation to Travel is a video documentary which presents a positive yet not uncritical introduction to the history, economics and culture of Mali. It aims to fill the void between the lack of information and the misinformation currently available about Africa in general and about Mali in particular. The project was initiated by members of MaliWatch (a group that promotes democracy and openness) including Abdoulaye Doucoure, Janet Goldner, Mohomoudou Houssouba, Boubacar Kane, Iba Ndiaye, and Bakary Sylla. It was produced and edited in Bamako with additional archival footage. A co-production of MaliWatch and CNCM (Le Centre National de la Cinématographie du Mali).

Have We Met? is a 15 minute split screen video that presents four aspects of daily life in a remote village in Mali that is the natal village of Janet Goldner's close friend & collaborator, artist Kandioura Coulibaly. Have We Met? bridges Malian realities & Western audiences with images that are small, personal and human. Karenguimbe is close to the site of Kumbi Saleh, the ancient capital of the Wagadu. The Wagadu, first Empire in West Africa - also known as the Ghana Empire - was rich from cattle & gold. It flourished from the 8th to the 11th century. Kandioura & Janet want to introduce you to the people of the village. The people of Karenguimbe want you to know about them & their way of life: Women & men drawing water from the Well, the sole source of water for both people & animals & the reason Karenguimbe came to be located in this spot, the Griot, the musician playing his ngoni, historian, genealogist of the village, which has existed in this location for many centuries, the fields of Millet, the heads of grain just harvested, food for the village, which is pounded by the women & prepared for eating. The harvest was meager due to lack of rain after months of hard labor, Men & women with children sitting to remember a relative who had died 40 days earlier. The Memorial was the reason for our visit in 2004.


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Brooklyn, NY 11217


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