1917
5 mins read

Bombino: Nomad, but much more

Bombino’s mesmerizing 2013 album begins with the sound of a revving engine, perhaps the guitarist’s cheeky way of saying that he’s going to take the listener somewhere really special. And…..

2184
5 mins read

My Favorite Photographs: Arnaud Contreras

The Sahara is changing fast. Still a beautiful desert but not just that. Most populated cities such as Tamanrasset or Timbuktu are microcosms that reveal all the problems of those former touristic regions: threats of terrorism, trafficking, illegal migration and pressures on cultural and natural heritages. The only ways to escape this harsh reality for Saharan and Tuareg youth are cybercafés, mobile phone culture, festivals and soirées guitare (“guitar evenings”) celebrating their guitar heroes, the “Ishumar”, such as Tinariwen, Terakaft, Tamikrest, Bombino and many other bands. In their songs they celebrate the link between desert nature, old poetry, and of course women, whose role is essential in their society. Some texts may seem like calls for rebellion, but mainly those are calls for a self-consciousness as a people, of their identities.

1045
1 min read

Weekend Music Break, N°39

This year’s turning into a good year for quality music videos. Here’s another selection of 10. First one below is a single from Durban’s Nandi Mngoma’s new album (she has…..

1149
2 mins read

Weekend Music Break, N°33

Let’s start with two club tracks. It’s Friday after all. Above is a collaboration between Boddhi Satva (from the Central African Republic) and Oumou Sangaré (from Mali) who together recorded…..

1 min read

August 3, Niger

Let’s celebrate Niger’s independence day with a recording of Omara “Bombino” Moctar, whose story of exile — and return — speaks to many youth in the country. Along with Rap…..