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Music

Music. Kalush Orchestra. Mamma Stefania…let me hear your voice.

In May, with their song ‘Stefania’, they easily won the latest Eurovision Song Contest and caught the attention of the world. Then, Kalush Orchestra is a new phenomenon, having been founded as recently as 2019 by rapper Oleh Psjuk together with some friends. The group takes its name from its birthplace, Kaluš, a city at…

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Music. Stromae, the Master of pop.

A heart that beats to the rhythm of Africa Paul Van Haver was born in Etterbeek, a small town near Brussels, in 1985. Yet his story really begins only nine years later, in Rwanda, where his father, an architect of Tutsi ethnicity, was killed that year during one of the most terrible genocides of the…

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Music. Lido Pimienta. To the Rhythm of Cumbia.

Mention Colombia and one immediately thinks of cumbia: a rhythm, an atmosphere, a dance, a way of singing, a synthesis of the essence of a people. A people still struggling to find a balance and social pacification between modernist and traditionalist thrusts, between terrorist regurgitations, the ever-untamed violence of drug traffickers and a complex interracial…

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Music. Ustad Saami. The Fascination of an Ancient Mystery

“The world calls me Ustad, the teacher, but I personally feel I am a Shagird, a disciple of music”. This is how Naseeruddin Ustad Saami, one of the most significant personalities in Pakistan and musical Sufism, defined himself. His songs and his music are infinitely distant from what is heard in the West; so much…

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Music. Houeida Hedfi. In the Rivers of the Soul.

Sounds with an unmistakably Arabian and Middle Eastern flavour, the sort of music that passionately involves those who hear it. There are masterpieces that germinate far from the great circuits of the music business and pop up where you least expect them. This is the case of Fleuves de l’Âme by the Tunisian musician Houeida…

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Music. Mina, ‘the veiled rapper’.

Everything was against her. Aminata Gaye – Mina ‘the veiled one’ is her stage name – was raised in a traditional Senegalese family, when she realised that music made her a self-confident person, she knew there was no way back. She started to fight for her dreams and for a better society. “I cannot be…

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Music. Fatima Said. Enchanting Voice.

Capable, beautiful and full of positive energy, the Egyptian soprano Fatma Said with her formidable voice has won her place on the most prestigious lyrical venues. Her success is also due to the efforts of her family who supported her every time the burden of prejudices and common places seemed to suggest she place her…

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Music. Jonas Gwangwa. Antiapartheid jazz leader.

The South African musician and composer was active both in music and in politics. At the cost of exile. Together with Hugh Masekela, a reference point for jazz enthusiasts. He died on 23 January, the same day on which, in 2018, Hugh Masekela passed away. The South African trombonist Jonas Gwangwa was just eighteen months…

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Music. Santrofi, the sound of pan-Africanism.

The Ghanaian band Santrofi demonstrates that Highlife music is still a rich and vital force. Artistically speaking, Highlife is the music of modern Ghana; a mix of pop and jazz not without ethnic influences imported from Nigeria in the first decades of the nineteen hundreds and exported to the world after the end of the…

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Music. Djibouti, Modern Notes.

The New York music house Ostinato Records recently released a Groupe RTD album – a Djibouti band composed of civil servants – the first to take modern music beyond the borders of the country in the Horn of Africa.  The international diffusion of modern music in the Horn of Africa came late on the scene…

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Music. The Sarkodie Generation.

The head of a musical movement that is both cultural and profitable, Michael Kwesi Owusu Addo, known professionally as Sarkodie, achieved this position due to the stylistic ductility and the quality of his texts in the Twi language. With the international emergence of modern African music, in the eighties, a number of stars of that…

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Music: Hope Masike, ‘The Princess of the Mbira’.

Evocative music, blending ancestral melodies and pop rhythms. “I hear our ancestors encouraging us to find our Promised Land and challenge injustice.” The Shona People of Zimbabwe love the mbira, a Sub-Saharan musical instrument. The mbira is a small wooden tablet (often about the width of two hands beside each other) on top of which…

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Advocacy

Cop 27. Emissions, loss and damage, finance: the decisions.

Cop 27 is over. A first step in climate justice, but zero progress on the central issue of CO2 emissions. The principle of a new fund…

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Baobab

The Tortoise and the Chimpanzee.

The Tortoise and the Chimpanzee had been friends for a very long time and so it was only natural that they should invite each other to…

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Youth & Mission

Pope urges African youth to be protagonists in shaping the…

Young people from nine different countries had a chance to each comment and ask a question to Pope Francis, during the online conversation. At the beginning…

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