A blog about arts and societies around the world

Tag: Review

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 ›

Aziza Brahim: The voice of the Sahrawis

Sahrawi singer Aziza Brahim’s debut album Mabruk is out on Reaktion. It’s deep, sincere and militant. Old clichés describing the Sahara as a vast lifeless zone have long gone. The success of the likes of Tinariwen has proved that the region is busy cultural center. Sahrawi is the name of the population living in the… 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 ›

ONB: Rendez-vous Barbès

“Barbès is like an antechamber before arriving in the West. It’s a piece of Africa!” says Luis Saldahna of l’Orchestre National de Barbès (ONB). Indeed many African immigrants end up in this multicultural neighbourhood of Paris, where they can find local products and most of all, revitalise. But Barbès is also the meeting point of… Read More ›

The Dark Sahara: America’s war on terror in Africa

Since the dawn of time, the Sahara has been a place generating both feelings of attraction and fear. The immensity of the desert, the endless sandy dunes, and not to forget the scorching Sun have certainly contributed to beget the natural curiosity for this part of the world. Recently the Sahara has regularly been mentioned… Read More ›

The betrayal of Africa

The betrayal of Africa was recommended to me awhile ago by a fellow collaborator at the radio programme Amandla. When I came across it, and I saw how small it was, the first thing that came to my mind was: “is it possible to summarize Africa’s difficulties in less than two hundred pages?” It seemed… Read More ›

Nabil Othmani: a fresh air from the Sahara

The story of Tamghart In (my mother) started a few generations ago in Djanet, a small town in South Algeria. Music has always been a strong tradition in the Othmani family, considered by many as natural representatives of the Kel Ajjers culture, the Touaregs from the Algerian Sahara. Nabil thus honours that cultural heritage while… 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 ›