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Posts tagged "mali"

NEW MUSIC: Tinariwen - “Arhegh Danagh”.

Recorded in California’s Joshua Tree National Park, the most recent album from Malian group Tinariwen is perhaps their best LP yet.

Their latest music video for their song Arhegh Danagh shows the band performing in the southern Californian park - chosen by the band due to its similarities with their home environment.

Due to embark on a North American tour starting October 18th, the band have released a 5-track EP of songs recorded during their Joshua Tree sessions.

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Stream Tinariwen’s Acoustic EP, Get Live US Fall/Winter Tour Dates.

Listen to Malian group Tinariwen’s latest offering, 5-track Inside / Outside: Joshua Tree Acoustic Sessions EP, in full before it’s October 7th release.

Like their most recent album Emmaar, the songs were recorded in the iconic California Joshua Tree desert due to its similarities with the band’s environment in Mali.

Tinariwen will be embarking on a North American tour this month. Here are their live dates:

Oct 18 “Moon Block Party Festival” Pomona, CA
Oct 21 The Bunkhouse Salon Las Vegas, NV
Oct 22 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach, CA
Oct 25 Luckman Fine Arts Complex Los Angeles, CA
Oct 26 Campbell Hall Santa Barbara, CA
Oct 27 The Chapel San Francisco, CA
Oct 28 John Van Duzer Theatre Arcata, CA
Oct 29 City Winery Napa Napa, CA
Oct 30 Loma Vista Gardens-Big Sur Big Sur, CA
Nov 01 191 Toole Tucson, AZ
Nov 02 The Orpheum Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 03 Skylight Santa Fe, NM
Nov 06 Granada Theater Dallas, TX
Nov 07 The Studio @ Warehouse Live Houston, TX
Nov 09 FUN FUN FUN FEST Austin, TX
Nov 10 Brooklyn Masonic Temple New York, BROOKLYN

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Adama Kouyaté (b. 1928)
Ségou #98
, 1969 or later

Silver gelatin print, 2010, from original negative
11.5 x 11.5 inches (29.2 x 29.2 cm)
Courtesy of Galerie Jean Brolly, Paris

Adama Kouyaté (b. 1928)
Ségou #19
, 1954
Silver gelatin print, 2010, from original negative
11.5 x 11.5 inches (29.2 x 29.2 cm)
Courtesy of Galerie Jean Brolly, Paris

Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako and French-Ivorian director Phillippe Lacôte make official 2014 Cannes Film Festival selections.

Sissako’s fifth film Timbuktu and Lacôte’s first Run have both been selected for screening at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Timbuktu is a tragic tale based on the recent true story of two lovers who, because they were not officially married, faced the tragic consequences of Sharia law and were executed by stoning for their crime.

Lacôte’s Run, staring the intensely handsome Isaach de Bankole,is a fast-paced drama who’s protagonist, for which the film is named after, is as his name suggests - a runner. But what is he running from? From so much, from everything it seems, most of all, from the assassination of his country’s prime minister - a crime he is guilty of committing.

Omar El Zohairy, a student at the High Cinema Institute, Academy of Arts in Egypt, had his film The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometer 375 selected for the Cinéfondation section which focuses on films made by students at film schools.

The 67th annual Cannes Film Festival is due to take place from 14 to 25 May 2014.

(top photo by Arnaud Contreras)

NEW MUSIC: Tinariwen - Chaghaybou.

Another great single and video from the ImuhaghMalian collective.

"Chaghaybou" is the second song, and fourth single released, on and from their 2014 album "Emmaar" recorded in and around Joshua Tree National Park where the band fled after being displaced by the Imuhagh rebellion that occurred after the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad declared Azawad independent from the Republic of Mali in April 2012.

Born and raised in France with a French mother and Malian father in a household that was more culturally French than anything else, blogger Fan Sissoko attempts to answer the one question that has been plaguing her her entire life: “Am I African?”

On the subject of cultural identity, I remember my childhood as being the most fruitful time for internal questioning. I looked at my mum, and I looked at my dad, and I wondered why they both looked so different to me. I guess I wasn’t the only one wondering. When I was about 6, a random woman in the streets walked towards my mum and asked about me and my brother, who were holding her hands: “Did you adopt them? They are so cute!”

Despite that, I don’t think I ever wondered if I was adopted. I accepted the fact that light beige + dark brown = a slightly darker shade of beige, or a slightly lighter shade of  brown, depending on the season. My internal  questioning was more about culture than ethnicity. I looked at other children at school and felt a bit jealous of how they managed to be so assertive about their own cultural identity. I grew up in a very diverse area of Paris, and every child I knew seemed to have a ‘bled’ to go to over the Summer holidays, be it Burgundy or Algeria, Portugal or Senegal. I had Montreuil, and the closest I’ve ever been to Mali were the Malian foyers (workers’ accommodation) where my dad first lived when he immigrated to France, and where he sometimes used to go to feed himself maafe when he had enough of my mum’s boeuf bourguignon.

By the time I was a teenager, I had learned to deal with annoying questions with either humour or icy cold silences and was no longer perplexed when people addressed me in Creole in the streets. I suppose I was dealing with a much grander type of identity conflict, wondering what I could do with the rest of my life, and discovering what it meant to be a woman, and all that jazz.

When I moved to Ireland, in my early twenties, the question disappeared altogether. I was just Fan. People knew I was vaguely French, but that was the extent of their curiosity. Or perhaps they were just to polite to ask (set aside the farmer who asked me if I knew what a tractor was, and if I had any  in my country – he quickly backed away when I told him with a contemptuous stare that my country was France). Either way, the whole “being 20 in Dublin and making up my own identity as I go along” experience was very liberating.

Then I moved to London. I have lived in London for nearly four years, and have come up with two definitions to sum this city. The first one is a big hungry monster that swallows people forever. And the second is an identitary minefield. If you are not sure what I mean by identitary minefield, take a colonial past, mix it with a class structure that hasn’t quite been questioned yet, add to this a status of immigration metropolis, and finally layer with a sheet of truly exciting multiculturalism and you get what I call an ‘identitary minefield’ where every assumption you make about where someone else comes from and what they stand for is bound to be wrongly assumed, in the best case, or outrageously offensive in the worst case. Not only I moved to London, but I chose Brixton, out of all places. So add to the mix described above a backdrop of gentrification (which, of course, as a young creative professional, who has recently moved into the area, is not an issue I can ignore), and you rightly wonder how  I can be at peace with who I am, where I come from, and most importantly what I represent.

For a long time, I ignored the question. Of course, I sometimes had bouts of confusion that turned into guilt, or the opposite. But a recent event made it clear to me that I need to be stronger and more assertive with my self-defined identity, no matter how complex it is. 

So the event. Some time ago, in the office, someone made a comment about the fact that we were becoming more and more diverse as an organisation (it was not meant as a joke, but it could have been – I have never worked in a more homogenous organisation). This person remarked: “We almost have every continent represented! Well, apart from Africa and South America.” I interjected: “Hey, I’m African! My dad is from Mali!” To which she replied: “Well, that doesn’t really count.”

I was hurt. Why would it not count? I was born and grew up in France, and culturally, I define myself as European, yes. But my father is from Mali, and although he didn’t raise us ‘à la malienne’, 50% of me is and will always be Malian. Sometimes, claiming I am Malian feels like an imposture, because I did not grow up there. But dismissing my Malian self is much worst. It would be outrageous if I did it to myself, so having it done to me by someone who knows close to nothing about me feels like murder.

I drew the series of flags above when I was 24 and still living in Ireland, to remind myself and others that the “Where are you from?” question is never innocent, and the answer is always more complex than one expects. I am, and will always be confused about my cultural identity, and that is fine. I see it as a comforting symptom of the fact that I am an evolving being, and that I am lucky enough to be able to define my own identity, not only based on where I was born and where my parents are from, but also on the places I lived in and learned to love, and on the people that inspire me.

What I will not allow is someone else to be confused about my identity and to make assumptions about who I am, and where I should fit in their view of the world.

Libyan photographer Jehad Nga takes us inside Malick Sidibe’s home and studio.

We’re all familiar with the iconic work of Malick Sidibe, one of the world’s most noted vintage studio portrait photographers. His work has been exhibited all over the world, creating a timelessness element to the Mali of days gone by. But what has become of the photographer, his studio and the magic, in the form inspiration, we see when we look at his images? 

Above are possibly the most recent photographs of an aging Sidibe (the very last photograph) in his one-room home, and his studio in Bamako, taken by Libyan photographer Jehad Nga almost a year ago in March 2013. I’m unsure if he’s been interviewed or photographed since.

Photo captions:

  1. A curtain used as a backdrop hangs in Malick Sidibe’s Bamako studio. The curtain has been in use since the opening of the studio in 1960 and never has been replaced. Many of Sidibe’s most famous photographs feature the backdrop.

  2. A view from inside Malick Sidibe’s now cluttered and dusty Bamako studio. Virtually nothing has been thrown away over the years from the studio including broken cameras and studio equipment.

  3. Malick Sidibe’s photo enlarger now out of use sits in a corner of the photographer’s Bamako home.

  4. Inside Malick Sidibe’s Bamako studio, a strobe lighting system has been updated to accomidate his son Kareem’s job as an I.D. photographer.

  5. On the patio of Malick Sidibe’s Bamako studio, photographs taken by Sidibe as well as ones featuring him over the years decorate a wooden wall.

  6. Inside Malick Sidibe’s home, a huge archive of negatives sits piled up and unprotected. Sidibe and his sons are trying to find people to help them begin to digitally archive his work before much of it is ruined by moisture and dust.

  7. Samba Sidibe (Malick’s younger brother) sits on the floor surrounded by old studio equipment and film negatives in Malick’s bedroom.

  8. Inside Malick Sidibe’s Bamako studio, a collection of Sidibe’s old cameras takes up an entire wall.

  9. Malick Sidibe sits in his bed in his Bamako home. With temperatures rising to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, the heat take its toll on the aging Sidibe. His younger brother Samba and his sons help keep him cool using a hand fan.

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In photos: “Turkana” by Jehad Nga.

A photographer of Libyan descent born in the United States and raised between Tripoli, Libya and London, England, Jehad Nga's lens has explored many stories and identities all over the African continent. From photographing a beauty contest in Botswana for HIV affected to women, night commuters in Ugandan, and the Liberian civil war, to illegal migration in to South Africa and documenting his own country, Libya, Nga's body of work is unique in that it contains projects that cover all regions of the African continent.

In this 2010 series titled ‘Turkana’, Nga’s photographs highlight the people of the Turkana region of Kenya - perhaps the area worst hit by drought in the country. Despite oil and water reserves in Turkana, the people reap few of the benefits as the government and large corporations take control of these resources.

According to Nga, the Turkana are ‘dwindling in numbers’ due to drought and subsequent neglect from them Kenyan government. Devastatingly, as a result of food and water shortages and with little to no aid reaching them, for some of the people photographed by Nga, these are the very last images of them. Shortly after photographing them, several of the individuals photographed passed away as a result of starvation caused by drought.

With the darkness filling up the negative space in the photographs, the significance of this sombre effect is to show the disappearing of a people. Nga’s aim, through these photographs, is to highlight the neglected plight of the people of the Turkana region and create a consciousness and awareness concerning their situation. 

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#CHAN2014 Updates: who’s through to the semi-finals?

After being down 0-3 againnst the Lions of the Atlas Mountains, Nigeria beat Morocco 4-3, scoring 3 goals in the second half and their winning goal in extra time, to make it through to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Zimbabwe made history for qualifying for the semi-finals round for the first time ever in the team’s history after beating Mali 2-1.

The heated match between Libya and Gabon saw the former team qualified by beating Gabon 4-2 in penalties.

Ghana’s 1-0 win, with a goal that came about as a result of a penalty kick, was regarded with a lot of controversy by many DR Congo fans on twitter who claim the ref did not handle the game fairly.

Upcoming matches: Semi-Finals (Weds. 25th Jan)

  • Libya vs Zimbabwe - 5pm CAT
  • Nigeria vs Ghana - 8:30 CAT

(all images via CAF)

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Harandane Dicko’s series ‘The Mosquito Net’:

"The Mosquito Net" is a black-and-white intimate photographic series by Malian photographer Harandane Dicko in which he uses the mosquito net, an every day object familial object in the lives of many Africans living in malaria-prone regions, and turns into a veil - an artistic tool to demonstrate the fragility of life.

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All Africa, All the time.

Zimbabwe and Morocco join Nigeria and Mali as both teams progressed to next stage of CAF / Africa Cup of Nations after defeating Burkina Faso and Uganda respectively. 

Nigeria beat hosts South Africa 3-1 on Sunday whilst Mali ousted Mozambique with a 2-1 defeat on the same day.

These four teams will meet each other at the quarter finals.

A great weekend for West African football

Three epic football matches occurred this past weekend with each involving great gains for West African football. 

In a fiery game between Chelsea and Manchester United, Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o wow’d fans and rivals alike with his spectacular hat-trick that ensured the Mourinho-led team a solid victory against the Red Devils who were on home turf.

On Sunday, the last games for Group A in the Africa Nations Championship took place in South Africa. Nigeria and Mali were the first teams to progress from the group stages and qualify for the next round in this year’s CHAN tournament.

Hosts Bafana Bafana were chowed by the Super Eagles who scored their first two goals in the first half of the game with a brilliant goal from Ejike Uzoenyi in the 22nd minute, and another goal in the 32nd minute scored by Rabiu Ali after a foul from South Africa’s keeper lead to a penalty kick. Although South Africa managed a goal in the second half, with a third goal from Nigeria already in the net, it was far too little too late for the home squad.

In another West Africa vs Southern Africa showdown, Mali defeated opponents Mozambique 2-1 to advance with Nigeria to the next phase of the tournament.

All CHAN upcoming fixtures can be found here.

FRIDAY INSPIRATION: The official music video for Malian musical collective Tinariwen's new song 'Toumast Tincha'.

Can’t get enough of this song. As the video illustrates, it’s a great accompaniment to any long journey. Add it to your soundtrack for the holidays if you’re travelling - especially by road.

They’ll be heading out on tour next year. Here are details of where and when you can catch them live.

Malian group @Tinariwen will be releasing a new album, Emmaar, in February next year! For the meantime, fans of the collective can listen to an exclusive premiere of their single ‘Toumast Tincha’ here.