7 minutes read

What next for Burkina Faso?

At the moment of writing this post – October 31, late afternoon – the leader of Burkina Faso may be Gen. Honoré Traoré, the army chief of staff, who declared…..

9 minutes read

The Upright Citizens of Burkina Faso

‘Here in Burkina Faso, we put the dust under the carpet… but there are so many things to sweep!’ Interview with Smokey, burkinabè rapper and cofounder of the movement Le…..

4 minutes read

“How was Africa?”

“Welcome back to civilization,” a family member said, slapping my shoulder. “How was Africa?” That was the refrain I encountered most frequently upon returning to the United States after conducting…..

5 minutes 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.

1 minute read

Tamani: A Day in Ouagadougou

The documentary below, “Tamani”, is an hour long film by Nicolas Guibert and Sébastien Gouverneur, recorded in Burkina Faso back in 2008. Structured as if you are spending a day…..

9 minutes read

Looking Back on FESPACO 2013

The 23rd edition of the famed West African film festival FESPACO ran last month in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. We previewed it here. Since the festival, we asked two filmmakers—Newton Aduaka (who…..