A blog about arts and societies around the world

Tag: London

Interview with the Orchestre National de Barbès

The Orchestre National de Barbès was playing in London a couple of weeks ago. I met them for a quick chat before the show. They talked about their music, Barbès and also mentioned their views on the current unrest in Arabic countries. Bonus: Chorfa and Salam live in London.                 Read also: Orchestre… Read More ›

Orchestre National de Barbès in London

Going to a concert of L’Orchestre National de Barbès (ONB) always bring along its share of excitement, as the band was almost born on stage. Their first album was recorded live and remains their top selling to date. It was their first performance in London since 2003. They didn’t disappoint, managing yet once again to… Read More ›

The tribulations of the Tuareg on Al Jazeera

I have recently made an appearance on an Al Jazeera piece by Jeremy Keenan, on the Tuareg and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. It’s quite an interesting article that shows the complexity of the political situation in the Sahara. Click here to read more.

AQIM, al-Qaeda and the Sahara

In September, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) abducted seven employees of French uranium giants Areva in northern Niger. An ongoing debate has been centred on the possible implication of the local Touareg, and the actual link between AQIM and al-Qaeda, which has yet to be precisely established. It was the ideal moment for Osama… Read More ›

Oil, terror and social exclusion in the Sahara

Throughout history the Sahara Desert has been a key point to many rulers, both African and Western, due to its geostrategic position. Recent events have brought it under the negative spotlight of the media. News reports bring attention to kidnappings, the presence of Al-Qaeda, military operations but they usually fail to mention all the interests… Read More ›

Ruined: Women of Eastern Congo

The conflict in Eastern Republic Democratic of Congo has undoubtedly been one of the largest African tragedies for the past decade. Incessant gunfights, fleeing refugees, abused women form the sad daily routine of local populations. This context of brutality, a direct legacy of colonialism and current economic exploitation, is at the centre of US playwright… Read More ›

Sahara shines at London International Documentary Festival

Africa has been well represented at the fourth edition of the London International Documentary Festival. Two pieces about the Sahara region have been shown: Toumast: guitars and kalashnikovs and The death of the gazelle. Toumast: guitars and kalashnikovs presents an adventure amidst the Tuareg rebellion, halfway through music and violence.

Will the Sahara be the next Afghanistan?

The sun was rising in Timbuktu, amidst the great Sahara desert of northern Mali. Since its founding by nomadic Touaregs, the legendary city has been a place of multiculturalism, trade, and spiritual exchange, attracting people from the remotest lands. As the city was enjoying the celebration of its 1000th anniversary, it became the centre of… Read More ›

Transglobal Underground @ Rich Mix: A universal journey

A mild evening as we reach the end of November always comes as a pleasant surprise. It is the perfect moment for Transglobal Underground to show their musical skills for the last time in 2009, before going into a well deserved hibernation until spring appears. They have chosen the arts centre Rich Mix in Shoreditch… Read More ›

Tinariwen interview

The desert bluesmen Tinariwen are back on the road to promote their brand new album, Imidiwan. They were recently passing by London. I met the bassist of the band Eyadou Ag Leche for a quick chat. He talked about their influences and the role of Tinariwen within the Touareg community. He also explained the signification… Read More ›