"A desert hosts us, 
a language unites us,
a culture binds us."

- Terakaft

In Tamasheq, the language of the Sahara, Terakaft means caravan - a name that suits this band of Tuareg rockers who formed in Mali in 2001.

Electric riffs swirl, twirl and prance through the band's songs that strive to recount the story, the experience, and the struggle of their people.

"Freedom is a right," the band told Huck magazine in an interview last year. "Tuareg musicians are messengers. Our songwriting results from human reactions, things that come to pass. At its core it's revolutionary music."

"We write about the geopolitics of the Sahara, we write about the people's exile, we write about the people's beauty, we write about the people's freedom."

In 2001, Terakaft recorded their first studio album "Bismilla, The Bko Sessions" in four days at the legendary Bogolan Studios in Bamako, Mali.

Live performances focus on a mix of two rhythm guitars (one to keep the beat, balanced with another that is soaring and sweet), while the deep tones of the bass hope to bring to mind the delicate but strong steps of a camel making its way through the wastelands.

The heavy, pulsating heartbeat of the percussion holds the songs together and completes the sound of Terakaft.

"We make music to send the message for our people," the band says. "It's our battle, it's our fight for our freedom."

Terakaft's music is featured in the Al Jazeera film Orphans of the Sahara. For more on the band, visit their official website: terakaft.bandpage.com 


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

Source: Al Jazeera