4635
4 mins 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…..

2182
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.

1696
1 min 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…..

1728
9 mins 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…..

2708
2 mins read

Who killed Thomas Sankara?

Burkina Faso’s president, Blaise Compaoré (that’s him above posing in between Michelle and Barack Obama at the UN a few years ago), is receiving some mixed PR right now. The…..

1820
2 mins read

Do filmmakers still care for FESPACO?

FESPACO, or as it known as by its full name, the Festival of Pan African Cinema in Ouagadougou, opened its 23rd annual edition Sunday. The theme: “African Cinema and Public…..

2990
5 mins read

Nigeria: Kings of Africa for a third time

Make una no vex, I’m running on less than 2 hours of sleep, and for good reason. Scratch that, FOR GREAT REASON. Thirteen years of sorrow, hurt and pain were…..

3383
4 mins read

Burkina Faso are this year’s Zambia

Zambia’s victory in last year’s Africa Cup of Nations was a great story, and one that even the crustiest of cynics could get behind. A team returned to the site of the national tragedy in which their fathers’ wonderfully talented generation of footballers were killed, and won the trophy against overwhelming odds. They sung in unison as the emotional penalty shootout unfolded, and when the celebrations began, the coach picked up an injured player and carried him across the pitch to his jubilant teammates. What wasn’t to like?