Press releases

Malian artisans to showcase Bogolan interior design at Formex

16 August 2019
ITC News

A cooperation of artisans from Mali will launch their first collection at the Formex interior design fair in Stockholm, Sweden, from 20 to 23 August. The artisans, who are supported by the International Trade Centre’s Ethical Fashion Initiative, were invited to Formex by the Dutch trend forecaster Li Edelkoort, this year’s guest curator.

The Malian artisans will display a collection with a holistic interior vision that brings traditional Bogolan art – handmade Malian cotton fabric – to the fore, transforming it into contemporary modernist textile totems, pillows, throws, floorcoverings and chair covers. At Formex the Malian artisans will be clustered under the brand name AAAA, or Atelier Autodidacts Anti Algorithm.

Using ebony, as well as sand and earth, the graphic quality of Bogolan artwork is remarkable and the creativity of the artisans feels palpable. A unique totemic wall hanging by Dutch artist and designer Birgitta de Vos celebrating the beauty of Bogolan art is certain to gather a lot of attention at Formex.

Assisted by designer Sergio Machado and coached by Lidewij Edelkoort the AAAA interior design collection is the result of the vision of the artisans on their own historical principles. For Mali, Bogolan art and design is increasingly seen as a force for economic development, while at the same time preserving the country’s rich artistic history.

Formex is a leading Nordic interior design arena held twice a year in Stockholm and attracting more than 20,000 visitors. The first Formex Fair was held in 1960.

Notes for the Editor

The collection displayed by the AAAA cooperative can be seen online at or on Instagram under the handles @aaaacoop. The cooperative can be contacted on hello [at] (hello[at]aaaacoop[dot]com).

Atelier Autodidacts Anti-Algorithms (AAAA) is supported by the International Trade Centre’s Ethical Fashion Initiative financed by the European Union emergency trust fund for Africa.

About the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa– The European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) supports all aspects of stability and contributes to addressing destabilization, forced displacement and irregular migration in particular by promoting resilience, economic and equal opportunities, security and development, and the improvement and implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. The EUTF aims at improving living conditions in Africa. It seeks to help people live in a peaceful and stable environment, and to work in dignity.

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International Trade Centre
Jarle Hetland, Media Officer
P: + 41 22 730 0145
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