During the first half of 2019, I embarked on a photography series ‘Territoire sans mémoire’ (Territory without memory). The mission was to chronicle, through pictures, the experiences and day to day lives of IDPs (internally displaced people) who have fled communal violence in central Mali. They have currently set up a refugee camp in the district of Faladjiè located in the south of the Malian capital Bamako.

Famille Dicko, le vieux handicap réfugié interne.


Des femmes-peulhs réfugiés internes sont dans leurs maison.


Une enfant réfugiés internes, arrêté devant leur maison.

Islamist armed groups have over the past years progressively increased their presence in central Mali, where they have executed civilians and committed several human rights abuses. Early 2015, saw the emergence of an Islamist armed group referred to as the Macina Liberation Front, or Katiba Macina, under the command of an Islamic preacher, Amadou Koufa. Their presence, and recruitment of locals, has inflamed and exploited tensions among communities in the region, especially between the Peulhs (Fulanis) who are mainly herders and the Dogon who are mainly farmers.

Des femmes-peuls, sont des réfugiés internes assisent sous leur hangar.


Des enfants réfugiés internes, prends leurs déjeuner à la maison.


Une femme réfugiés internes et ses enfants, assisent sous leur hangar.


Une famille peul réfugiés internes, devant la porte de leur maison.



This rivalry is part of the conflicts that have rocked Mali since 2012, have spawned a proliferation of self-defense ethnic militias, gradually destabilizing the Sahel region. Recently, the violence caused by land disputes between Fulani herdsmen and Dogon farmers has been getting worse.  This inter-communal violence has killed more than 500 civilians in 2018, according to the UN, and has contributed to the exodus of a large section of the Fulani community from the Mopti region in central Mali.

The IDPs are mostly Fulani and constitute of mostly the elderly, women and children. They started arriving here about six months ago and their numbers have been gradually increasing since December last year. The IDPs struggle to access basic services and start new lives. The camp, located in the center of Faladjié is smack in the middle of the neighborhood’s cattle field. To access it, one must first sneak between the animals to join the garbage pile that houses the site. The dwellings are built with plastic bags, pieces of canvas and remains of mats sourced from the surrounding dumpsite. These clutches of trash-strewn make-shift shelters provide little respite from the elements, such as the hot sun, the rain and the bone chilling winds.

Une rue dans le camp des réfugiés interne, Bamako-faladjiè.


Chambre d’une fammille réfugiés internes.


Une rue dans le camp des réfugiés internes, où se trouve a côté leurs parc à bétail.


Des tenue sous le soleil, au camp de réfugiés.


Une femme réfugié internes lave des vêtement de sa famille.


Une enfant réfugié internes ramasse des ordure sur le camt.


Un Grain des vieux hommes réfugiés internes.


Des réfugiés internes viennent de leurs course dans la ville de Bamako.


Des femmes réfugiés internes prepare le repas du soir.

As the hours pass, the realities of life in the refugee camp became more apparent, more than anything else the sense of confinement, the restricted space, and the lack of opportunity with the only objective being survival. The question of permanency lingers, refugee camps are rarely constructed as homes but places of temporary refuge until it is safe to go home or some alternative option is found. One of the many challenges the refugees have to surmount is the fact that they are unable to find employment, have to live helplessly, relying on the aid of well-wishers. Some have however created odd jobs: turning this space into a sprawling micro economy by selling stuff such as cigarettes, water etc.

Une vielle femme réfugiés internes, dormi sous sont hangar.


Un homme réfugié interne, devant sa famille à la maison.


Une vielle femme réfugiés internes, devant la porte.


Un jeune homme réfugié interne devant sa maison.


Un vieux homme réfugié interne dans sa chambre pendant la nuit.


Un enfant réfugié interne dormi devant leur maison.

These images are intended to capture the daily reality and humanity, offering a glimpse of hope and uncertainty navigated by the men and women in these camps in the everyday. They may be “refugees”. Nameless, faceless, all the same. But each of them have a different story to tell, of their lives, who they lost, and how they got here. The memories of the circumstances that forced them to leave their homes still remain intact. Displacement may have stalled the dreams of these people, but their drive to live survives.

Portrait d’une femme peulh, réfugée interne.


Portrait d’un vieux homme peulh, réfugié interne.


Portrait d’une jeune fille réfugié interne.


Potrait d’un enfant réfugié interne.


Distribusion de moustiquiare par bénévole du Mali, pour les réfugiés internes.


Spread awareness about the IDP’s plight in Mali, by hitting the share buttons below to help others find this article.

For more photography and images of Mali by Hamdia, check out his Instagram @hamdiatraore.

Ce projet à été réaliser par : Hamdia Traoré

Assistant : Mahamane Diarra dit Petit Diarra

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  1. May 20, 2019 at 4:47 pm — Reply

    Je suis très ravi de voir mon travail publier par vôtres organisation ! (Safari254).

  2. May 22, 2019 at 4:10 pm — Reply

    These images really tell the story

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