Mali

Rokia Traoré's Commitment To Her Culture

Feb 13, 2016

When we hear about Mali, it's usually about that country's civil war. But the west African nation has long been a shining star of music and culture. It's where the annual Festival in the Desert once attracted visitors and pop stars from around the globe. "[War] simply changes your life," musician Rokia Traoré says. "And you're no longer naive, and your way of seeing and thinking — everything changes. And Mali is still what it is. You know, music there is so important and culture is an...

Updated 9:55 p.m. ET: American Victim Identified The family of Anita Datar, an international development worker, has confirmed she was the American who died in Friday's terrorist attack on a hotel in Bamako, the capital of Mali. The U.S. State Department released this statement on the family's behalf: "We are devastated that Anita is gone—it's unbelievable to us that she has been killed in this senseless act of violence and terrorism. Anita was one of the kindest and most generous people we...

One of the best recently released music documentaries — The Last Song Before The War — wasn't originally supposed to be about music. American filmmaker Kiley Kraskouskas was living in Germany in the fall of 2010. "I'd previously been doing graduate work in sociology at New York University, but had fallen in love with film," Kraskouskas says. She and some friends wanted to find a story line in Africa they could build a film around — something about tourism, something created by locals and...

On July 29, 2012, a couple in northern Mali, who had two children, were stoned to death by Islamist militants. The reason: The mother and father were not married. That horrifying story inspired director Abderrahmane Sissako to make the movie Timbuktu , an Oscar nominee this year for best foreign language film. Sissako, who's 53, was born in Mauritania and spent some of his childhood years in Mali. He sets his film in the ancient city in Mali that in 2012 was seized by an al-Qaida-affiliated...

How do you build on the reputation that has made your band the most visible ambassador of an entire people? For its seventh international album, Emmaar , Tinariwen has some striking ideas that were born out of both creativity and absolute necessity. Unfortunately, Emmaar reflects the unpleasant truth of this time in Tinariwen's career. It was made in the U.S. due to the political troubles in the band members' beloved ténéré, the Sahara Desert — which is the home of their people, the Kel...

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