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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.

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1 min read

Weekend Music Break 52

Further left field than the “Million Miles” video for Tunde Adebimpe and his TV On The Radio band you won’t get them this week, but Myspace won’t let me embed…..

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Music Break. Friday Bonus Edition

Ploughing through the blog’s archives to come up with a fair selection of ten videos for next week’s year-end lists, I wondered why we haven’t written about the Congolese Salaam…..

Less than a minute read

Music Break

I could listen to Tamikrest all day long. This is a new song from the Malian band’s album Toumastin. Now, my knowledge of Tamashek is non-existent, but something tells me…..

Less than a minute read

They Shoot Tamikrest

“I well remember hearing my first Tinariwen songs. I was about five. After the death of my mother, my father was obliged to take me to live with my grown-up…..