A blog about arts and societies around the world

Tag: Niger

Agadez: music and rebellion

The London International Documentary Festival 2011 featured the première of Agadez: The Music and the Rebellion. Director Ron Wyman tells the story of the Touareg of the region of Agadez, northern Niger, focusing on the rise of local guitar-hero and newly internationally acclaimed artist, Omar Moctar “Bombino”. Making documentaries about the Touareg has become en… 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 ›

Atri N’Assouf: The Star of the Desert

When Rissa Ag Wanaghli, former member of the Nigerian music act Takrist N’Akal, meets Plume, a prominent figure in French music, what outcome can be expected? The answer lies in Atri N’Assouf, “the Star of the Desert”, a young group that has just self-produced its debut album, Akal. Here’s a brief presentation of a band… Read More ›

Encounter with Nabil Othmani

It could have well been “the tour that never will be” for Nabil Othmani. The Algerian-born Tuareg experienced a little administrative misfortune in June, which forced him to cancel some dates. Having eventually been granted a visa, he’s landed in France for a summer tour not to be missed. After having successfully crossed a garden… Read More ›

Interview of Atri N’Assouf

Rissa Ag Wanaghli is a musician whose career is as hot as the Sun in the Sahara Desert. He’s been involved in Abdallah Oumbadougou’s Takrist N’Akal, Desert Rebel with French musicians Gizmo (Tryo), Amazigh Kateb (Gnawa Diffusion) and of course, Abdallah Oumbadougou. A life that began in the polluted region of Arlit in Niger recently… 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.

Etran Finatawa – Tarkat Tajje/Let’s go

Formed under the scorching sun of the Nigerien Ténéré, Etran Finatawa returns with a third album entitled Tarkat Tajje / Let ‘s Go. The group is famous for its unique blend of Wodaabe and Touareg traditions and it once again respects the recipe that made the success of their previous albums. Get ready for an… Read More ›

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 ›