Beyond the MNLA: Tuareg Musicality
The Tuareg, or rather the Kel Tamasheq, peoples recently made international headlines when a Tuareg rebel group, MNLA, seized northern Mali which is roughly the size of France. The MNLA declared the region as the new independent state of Azawad however the international community has yet to recognize it.
Before political turmoil struck Mali, tales of the Tuareg romanticized their nomadic lifestyle, flowy blue garb and unequivocably dope music.
I’ve always found the desert and the resilience of nomadic peoples intriguing and found many similarities between the Tuareg of the Sahel and the Rashaida, also nomadic, in Eritrea. My interest peaked when I visited Mali a few years ago. Since then, I vowed to visit Timbuktu for the Festival du Desert (Festival of the Desert). The trailer below highlights the Festival.
Check out this impromptu jam session from the Festival du Desert.
Internationally-known band of Tuareg and Berber musicians, Tinariwen, has been at the forefront of Tuareg music. Just incredible, point blank. Catch them performing in the video below.