Please make on-line tax-deductible credit card donations to Bamako Chic
on our non-profit sponsor's website: www.sffs.org – Scroll down alphabetically.
Or e-mail Maureen directly

For a film trailer and more in-depth information please visit our page at Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media:



Maureen Gosling
Maureen Gosling

Maxine Downs
Maxine Downs

Maxines's Resume

For a fun and colorful site where you can find hand-dyed and creative wax resist print fashions from Mali and Senegal, available in the U.S.,

see Queen Sheba Village at: http://www.freewebs.com/queenshebavillage/

For beautiful photographs of Malian people by Eric Condominas, see:

New Film in Development

One-hour documentary
by Maureen Gosling
and Maxine Downs

In Mali, as in other West African countries, cloth has served as social-capital, equity, wealth, inheritance and articles of beauty for hundreds of years. In the early 1970s a group of Malian women dyers helped to re-invigorate the hand-dyed cloth industry throughout West Africa by producing a wider palate of vibrant colors and innovative designs, which continue to evolve even today. Their creative use of bright color-fast dyes and intricate patterns have turned hand-dyed bazin (an imported polished cotton) into popular fashion, sought after by rich and poor alike. Now a lucrative industry, hand-dyed cloth provides a sustainable source of asset building for many women. This is occurring in the context of trends towards "Cheap Chic" and disposable clothing, and the out-sourcing of garment industries through globalization that has made Western clothing all the more ubiquitous. By following the daily challenges of several Malian cloth dyers at different levels of economic attainment, we witness the power that women¹s artistry and entrepreneurial skills have to express the universal human need for beauty, identity, and indeed, survival.

Anthropologist Maxine Downs and filmmaker Maureen Gosling have come together to create BAMAKO CHIC. Gosling, a filmmaker for more than thirty years, directed and produced the award-winning BLOSSOMS OF FIRE on the legendary Zapotecs of Oaxaca, Mexico and is best known for her twenty year collaboration with Bay Area director Les Blank. Blank and Gosling's best known film is the British Academy Award winning BURDEN OF DREAMS. Gosling has also been sought after as an editor by such directors as Jed Riffe (CALIFORNIA'S 'LOST' TRIBES), Tom Weidlinger (A DREAM IN HANOI, HEART OF THE CONGO) and Ashley James (BOMBA, DANCING THE DRUM).

Maxine Downs, a PhD candidate at the University of Florida at Gainesville in economic anthropology, has been working and traveling to West Africa for twenty years. She became interested in anthropology while worked as a art buyer for galleries in NYC, as an art buyer, helping local artisan communities perfect their merchandise for the Western market. Her research interests include international development/poverty alleviation and women's health.

Bamako crew
Bamako Chic's crew, with dyer Kadiatou and friends