Archive for March, 2011

AFROCUBISM: An old transatlantic love story

March 31, 2011
AfroCubism: Eliades Ochoa and Bassekou Kouyate

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 story was already old, very old. Gold, who was already infatuated with Malian music, had the genius to perceive and appreciate the well-spring of...
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March 28, 2011
Hamada ben Amor aka 'El Général du Bled'

It took a rapper to light a firecracker and lob it at Tunisia’s youth, whose frustration had been distilled into liquid hydrogen by years of government corruption, nepotism, ineptitude and general state imposed joylessness.
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SMOD – Folk? Rap? Smart? African? No doubt!

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 what African rap is all about: No mincing words or metaphors. No ancient musical traditions that cosy up to power. No decadent ghetto fabulous fantasies....
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GADDAFI AND THE TOUAREG: Love, hate and petro-dollars

March 16, 2011

Gaddafi has been buying the affections and fighting skills of the nomadic tribes of the Sahara for a long time. His vision of a borderless Islamic republic of the Sahara, struck a chord with the Touareg who have been fighting their own rebellion against the governments of Mali and Niger since independence back in...
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ETRAN FINATAWA – The nomad alliance of Niger

March 10, 2011
Etran Finatawa

The word ‘nomad’ might make us dream about freedom, but in the southern Sahara it actually describes a man locked in a pitiless and epic struggle against drought, locusts and oblivion. The scrubland of the Azawak, an immense and table-flat plain in the northwestern corner of Niger, is home to two nomadic peoples,...
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MUSIC UNDER FIRE – There’s nothing more revolutionary than joy.

March 9, 2011
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

Yabous Productions, the non-profit Palestinian organisation behind the Jerusalem festival, has been organizing cultural events in Jerusalem and the West Bank since 1995. After the second intifada started in 2001, they were one of the few cultural organisations in Palestine to survive the Israeli crackdown. Their small offices in Arabic East Jerusalem buzz with...
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