Seydou Cissé, head of the Ganda Izo: “We should have followed the MNLA from the start”

0
February 19, 2014

Here’s an amazing news story: http://maliactu.net/mediation-dans-la-crise-malienne-nous-preferons-ouaga-a-alger-dixit-moussa-ag-attaher/ On February 9th last, the MNLA and the Ganda Izo held a joint press conference in Ouagadougou and issued a joint statement announcing a future collaboration between the two movements. The two groups also expressed strong support for Burkina Faso’s mediation in northern Mali and denounced any attempts...
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Does the Touareg question have an answer?

0
January 20, 2014
Touareg boy watching Camel Race, Tin Essako, Jan 2001

A few years ago, on a beautifully calm Saharan evening, I was drinking tea with an old Touareg musician in a garden near Tessalit in the far north east of Mali, a place that has recently been in the news for all the wrong reasons. The musician’s work was gaining popularity throughout Europe and...
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What does Morocco want from Mali?

3
September 24, 2013

The big story to emerge from the inauguration of Mali’s new president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, which took place in Bamako’s 26 Mars stadium on September 19th, was the arrival of Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, for the celebrations with a delegation of 300 dignitaries in tow. So stark and brash was the nature of...
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Nigel Williamson’s review of ‘Music, Culture & Conflict in Mali’ – SONGLINES, September 2013

3
September 3, 2013
Nigel Williamson’s review of ‘Music, Culture & Conflict in Mali’ – SONGLINES, September 2013

It was a small consolation, but one of the few positives to come out of the occupation of the northern two-thirds of Mali by armed jihadist groups in 2012 was the informed analysis of Andy Morgan. At the height of the crisis, Morgan seemed ubiquitous in the western media – on radio, television and...
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The Ouagadougou Accords: Peace in our time?

6
June 20, 2013

An accord between the government of Mali and groups representing the Touareg-led rebellion in the north, primarily the MNLA and HCUA, was signed two days ago in Ougadougou at end of several weeks of intense negotiation. Le Monde has a concise and fairly comprehensive report on this possibly historic event. So is this peace...
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WOMEX 2013 AWARD SPEECH: What the Festival in the Desert did for one dumbfounded tourist…

0
November 16, 2013

Ladies, gentlemen and fellow Womexicans… On the third of January this year, Ansar Eddine, one of the three armed Salafist groups who ruled over the northern two-thirds of Mali...
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SAHARA SOUL: Bassekou Kouyate, Tamikrest, Sidi Toure.

0
February 4, 2013

The conversation won’t be easy. But listen to the spirits there in the music and they’ll tell you a deeper tale. They’ll tell you that in that vast desert...
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AFROCUBISM: An old transatlantic love story

1
March 31, 2011

When the record producer Nick Gold traveled to Cuba in the early 1990s and fell in love with a cassette by the late great Ñico Saquito, the Afro Cuban...
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SMOD – Folk? Rap? Smart? African? No doubt!

2
March 16, 2011

“Africa needs to speak out right now,” says Ousco calmly over a crackling phone line from Bamako. “Africa must stop crying.” His words are a neat little summary of...
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CHEIKH LO – Senegalese soul of many colours

0
January 24, 2011

It’s this gentle yet luminous spirituality that makes Cheikh Lo’s music so unique, injecting its boundary-busting mix of Cuban, Congolese, Senegalese mbalax and international pop flavours with a tender...
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Book Extracts

FINDING THE ONE - Front Cover

FINDING THE ONE : ‘If your name is Keita, you’re still royalty’

It was only after he’d started living in Europe and having kids of his own, that Seckou Keita started to wonder about his father. “I was in that mood,” he says, “I just wanted to find out.” He hadn’t seen him for about thirty years, but he was in touch with an uncle, his...

FINDING THE ONE - Front Cover

FINDING THE ONE : ‘Meths, gunpowder and the revival of harp making in Wales’

The news of Aberfan shocked him into a new awareness. What was the fire that had destroyed his workshop compared to the river of slurry and filfth that snuffed out the lives of 116 children? Not forgetting the 28 adults. Nothing. “People can loose more than I’ve lost,” he thought. Granted, his livelihood had...

FINDING THE ONE - Front Cover

FINDING THE ONE : ‘How the kora came to mankind’

No one is one hundred precent sure of how or when the kora came into being. Strangely, the first person to ever mention it was a Scotsman by the name of Mungo Park, who wrote about it in his Travels In the Interior Districts of Africa, published in 1799.  Park was commissioned by Sir...

Featured Lower Section

Jupiter and Okwess International at Carlisle Railway Station, September 2012. Photo by Andy Morgan

In the early years of that epic tribal conflict known as the cold war,...

SIDI TOURE – Easy to listen to and easy to love…

When he was a child, Sidi Toure was told to go and hunt for...

Etran Finatawa

The word ‘nomad’ might make us dream about freedom, but in the southern Sahara...

Socklo - genuis guitar maker of Kinshasa

Once a guitarist himself, Socklo now makes about 2 to 3 instruments per week,...

Rough Guide to the Music of the Sahara

In terms of music and culture, the Sahara is like an inland sea, where...

Cheikh Lo - The soul man of Senegalese Baye Fall

It’s this gentle yet luminous spirituality that makes Cheikh Lo’s music so unique, injecting...

Omar Souleyman

Look at Omar in his sheer white body-length jellabiya and gingham keffiya, with his...

Festival Security in 2003.  (c) Kate Morgan.

That’s why the Festivals in the Desert are so important. They give a...

Damon Albarn and Rachid Taha, Africa Express Paris 2009

But where exactly is Rachid Taha today? With the success of ‘Voilà...

Souad Massi. (c) Carole Bellaîche

Arab. Algerian. Berber. Woman. Muslim. Poet. Musician. ...

Iness Mezel

It was one of those perfect moments, when passion burns up the concept, and...

Bush jam with Intidao.  (c) Thomas Dorn 2007

In that same moment of dream-like calm, not more than two hundred kilometres away...

STAFFBB_05_Theo_hires

Africa doesn’t need our pity. Africa demands and deserves our admiration and...

K'naan New 6 SMALL

This battle for recognition in the hierarchy of the hard is the subject of...

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