restricted access Performing the Predicaments of National Belonging: The Art and Politics of the Tuareg Ensemble Tartit at the 2003 Folklife Festival

This article on the Republic of Mali's involvement in the 2003 Smithsonian Folklife Festival examines conflicting conceptions of the nation-state as a framework for understanding the purpose of the festival. Its descriptions of the stage performances and commentary of members of Tartit—the sole music ensemble representing the Tuareg communities of Mali's northern Saharan region—enable analysis of a complex set of artistic, political, and economic dynamics unfolding within and beyond both Mali and the time and space of the festival. It demonstrates how the group's efforts highlighted the power of distinctly national pressures to impinge upon marginal artists' thoughts and actions.