A blog about arts and societies around the world

Tag: Mali

Terakaft rocks la fête de la music

Tuareg rockers Terakaft have been touring Europe for the past couple of months. They played in Paris at the much-hyped Fête de la Musique on 21 June. Imagine a story that began a few centuries ago. Imagine a time when Timbuktu was so busy that it would make New York City blush. Imagine an age… Read More ›

What next for Mali?

It’s been three weeks since the beginning of French intervention in Mali. The largest northern towns have now been seized by the French Malian coalition. Today, a few questions emerge as to what happens next. In January 2012, the National Movement of Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), an independence Touareg movement, launched an attack against the… Read More ›

Pédro Kouyaté, a cross cultural griot

I’ve recently had a chat with Pedro Kouyaté, a passionate and nonconformist Malian musician living in Paris. His third album, Live, has recently hit the shelves. Pedro Kouyaté is not a typical griot artist. In West Africa, griots are the guardians of oral tradition. They can be historians, storytellers or musicians. Pedro was born of… Read More ›

Interview with Vieux Farka Touré & Idan Raichel

Vieux Farka Touré and Idan Raichel, the Touré-Raichel Collective, launched the 2012 edition of the Jazz N Klezmer festival. I spoke with these two wandering musicians after the show. Music has no frontiers. For millennia, musicians have traveled through mountains, deserts and oceans, bringing along their instruments, melodies and influences. They have met other musicians and… Read More ›

Terakaft: Kel Tamasheq

The Terakaft caravan is unstoppable. A year has passed since the release of Aratan N Azawad, and the Touareg band is back with a fourth album, Kel Tamasheq. Get ready for some rock n roll! Recently I’ve been rather slow at listening to new music, and even slower at writing about it. A perfect example,… Read More ›

Fatoumata Diawara: Simply Fatou

African music fans see her as the next pop star to be. Wherever she goes Fatoumata Diawara makes the headlines. With the recent release of her debut album Fatou, she’s brought a little bit of her native region of Wassoulou in Mali to the world of folk music. She’s currently touring Europe and here are… Read More ›

The Tel Aviv Session: Vieux Farka Touré meets the Middle East

He’s never short of ideas. Vieux Farka Touré comes back under the spotlight with a surprising yet ingenious collaboration. He has teamed up with the versatile Israeli pianist Idan Raichel, and together they have formed the Touré-Raichel Collective. It’s another step in the rising career of the Malian virtuoso. Intercontinental collaborations have abounded in the… Read More ›

Tinariwen: Tassili

Tinariwen has taken Saharan music to a whole new level over the past decades. Their latest album Tassili slightly shifted towards a new direction. Here’s my verdict. How often do we listen to a song for the first time, either love it or hate at once, only to change our mind later on? Normally, critics rush into reviews as… 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 ›