[QODLink]
Orphans of the Sahara

Tamikrest: Struggle through song

Using a mix of desert blues and western rock, the Tuareg band sings about the challenges facing their people.

Last updated: 08 Jan 2014 14:15
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The Tuareg band Tamikrest [Photo courtesy of Tamikrest]

Tamikrest, a noted Tuareg blues band, emerged from the Sahara to open up new paths between desert blues and Western rock.

Since the release of the band's first album in 2009, Tamikrest has grown in strength and popularity, fusing strong beats with melodies sublimated by djembes and calabashes; burning-hot guitars with intimate laments.

The group has achieved recognition, even internationally, but feels this success is not an end in itself. Their leader Ousmane Ag Mossa says the real issue goes far beyond any notion of artistic achievement:

"Even if our music gives me a better life and a little comfort, so long as my people are marginalised and persecuted, it has no value .... Over the years, nothing really gets any better in Kidal. Come and see how we live; this isn't Bamako, it's another world. Nobody invests in the development of this town; 90 percent of young people are unemployed," he said in an interview in 2011.

A few months later, Kidal became one of the strategic strongholds of armed Islamist groups. The peace-loving young Tuaregs of Tamikrest regret this all the more, since their songs have always expressed the sufferings of their people and their struggle for recognition of their identity.

Regarding the recent war that has ravaged northern Mali, Ousmane never mentions victory or defeat, but only the wrench it represents for his community. Tamikrest hopes to transform all these struggles into music, singing in Tamasheq, the local Tuareg language.

As the lyrics of one of their songs 'Tisnant an Chatma' says: "Who can understand the suffering in the soul of one who sees his sisters exhausted by the constraint of living within borders, in deep pain and with daily oppression?"

Tamikrest's music is featured in the Al Jazeera film Orphans of the Sahara. For more on the band, visit their official website: www.tamikrest.net 

Listen

Orphans of the Sahara can be seen each week from January 9, 2014, at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2000; Friday: 1200; Saturday: 0100; Sunday: 0600; Monday: 2000; Tuesday: 1200; Wednesday: 0100.

Watch more Orphans of the Sahara

383

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
A groundbreaking study from Johns Hopkins University shows that for big segments of the US population it is.
Critics claim a vaguely worded secrecy law gives the Japanese government sweeping powers.
A new book looks at Himalayan nation's decades of political change and difficult transition from monarchy to democracy.
join our mailing list