The next time you are in the Orem Public Library’s Chidren’s sections looking for copies of Arthur’s Loose Tooth and The Missing Piece, take a look at the walls. The Library will host the “Faces of Mali” photo exhibition through Dec. 6.

While the distance between Utah Valley and Mali is great, both share values and they can be seen through the lenses of Edgar Gomez-Palmieri and Yeah Samake. Their photography shows the everyday lives of the people in villages in the southwestern region of the country.

While the country is very poor, the pictures represent a very energetic and dynamic culture. The cameras captured a diverse range, from children anxiously attending school to village elders having meetings. Even mourning customs are explored in this exhibit.

“Faces of Mali” is an opportunity to not only look at life in Mali, but also actually learn about the people and their histories, including genealogy, within the Saharan country. Descriptions of lineage often accompany the pictures, bringing in additional context and an almost personal back story to the exhibition. Learning what it means to be of Bambara, Malinke or Bozo lineage allows for more thorough understanding of the different peoples of southwestern Mali.


The time is limited, but if you are still interested in taking a look at this fascinating African country after Dec. 6, the exhibition travels. So far, “Faces of Mali” has been shown at Dixie Art Department in St. George and will be at the Tooele Community Center next March.

For more information about “Faces of Mali,” visit or call 801-229-7050.