Mali is short of heroes at the moment. War in the north has produced very few, only villains aplenty, some of them in uniform. The same holds for Bamako’s deep, existential political crisis. Many people have tried to seize the moment; few have risen to it. So it’s good to be reminded of someone like Ibrahima Ly. Ly’s been gone a long time, but Ibrahima Touré’s feature adaptation of Ly’s powerful novel Toiles d’araignées (Spiders’ webs) just won two prizes at FESPACO, Africa’s prestigious biennial film festival. I haven’t seen the film and we can’t find a trailer online (some shaky images here), but Ly merits the recognition, and Mali needs his memory. So who was Ibrahima Ly?