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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.

2 mins read

The racial politics of Tuareg nationalism

Like good nomads ought to be, Tuareg desert blues super group Tinariwen are on tour. I hear good things about them as individuals, and I’m sure they’re all fine human…..

3 mins read

Tinariwen speaks on the coup in Mali

Tuareg musicians Tinariwen, on tour in Europe these days, spent some time in Belgium this weekend. Belgian public broadcaster VRT [they’ll do a feature on Mali blues once a year,…..

1 min read

Tuareg Nationalism

A quick survey of Western media suggests Tuareg nationalist claims don’t carry the same weight as Malian, Nigerian or Algerian claims on Tuareg territory. For example, the current violence in…..

2699
1 min read

10 African Albums of 2011

Tinariwen Tassili Mali Quote: “I go quietly to pay Mizgawa a little visit.” FOKN Bois meet Irie Maffia Production The FOKN DunaQuest In Budapest Ghana/Hungary Quote: “We see demma Maffia…..

Less than a minute read

Music Break

TV On The Radio‘s Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone join Tinariwen for this song. BTW, Tinariwen is touring the US this summer. (They’re playing New York City on July 20.)

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…..