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Music

Souad Massi. The voice of North Africa.

“Her songs speak of love, altruism and courage; they are messages against intolerance and of all kinds of fundamentalism” 46-year-old Souad has the face and eyes of her people. She is an artist who is becoming well known outside her native Algeria where she is a leading star, especially in the areas of North Africa…

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The Queen of Calypso.

Calypso is a genre of Afro-Caribbean music that comes primarily from the island of Trinidad. Linda McCartha Monica Sandy-Lewis, better known as Calypso Rose, is the undisputed Calypso queen. Like most genres of Caribbean music, calypso is heavily rooted in West African traditional music and was originally used as a means of communication between slaves,…

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Music. Imany, Africa in her heart.

Of African descent, with a voice that is elegant, smooth, sensually melancholic. Imany overpowers and charm. Her birth name, Nadia Mladjao, immediately shows her African origins. In effect Imany, an ever brighter star on the new transalpine music scene, was born in Provence, near Marseilles into a family originally from the Comoros Islands. Her stage…

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Music. A marvel called Oud. The Joubran Trio.

A pre-Islamic instrument. Three brothers. Music that is a poetry, the heart and the patrimony of a people. Last October they launched their sixth album. The Long March At first sight it looks like a mandolin with a crooked neck. The oud is the chief musical instrument of Arabic music. It is a chordophone instrument…

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Music. Afro Trap.

A young Frenchman of African descent has invented a new type of rap to set the new Afro generations dancing and more. It is taken from West African languages and does not try to imitate the American style. Up to three years ago, Mohamed Sylla, also known as MHD, was delivering pizza in north-east Paris.…

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Music. Youssou N’Dour: the king’s comeback

For many Senegalese Youssou N’Dour is more than just a singer: he is a living symbol of success, almost a legend even for those who are not his fans. Taxi drivers carrying foreigners around Dakar point at the building hosting his media group (comprising a newspaper, a radio and a tv station) as they do…

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Music – Farewell to Papa Wemba

It is not common for the Vatican spokesperson to release an interview to remember a music star, but for Papa Wemba, Fr. Federico Lombardi made what can be regarded as a notable exception. The Jesuit priest, as director of the press office of the Holy See, has more often to deal with the interpretation of…

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Ivory Coast, singing against terror.

Grand Bassam is wounded, and yet, she sings. Or better, a number of Ivorian artists have chosen to celebrate through their music the city’s strength and resilience a few weeks after the attacks that, on 13 March left 19 dead on the beach of the renowned Ivorian tourist destination. It was a Sunday, when a…

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Music. Akendengué, fifty years of challenges.

At the beginning of his career he has been called “the African Bob Dylan”, and – although he has questioned this comparison from time to time – Gabon music legend Pierre Akendengué has some features in common with his much more famous colleague. Like the American singer and songwriter, in fact, Akendengué can be compared…

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Music. X-Maleya, from Cameroon to Paris

The boys have grown up. Playlist, the fifth album of the Cameroonian band X-Maleya, marks a new step in the career of the trio and, in the artists’ intention should also represent a personal turning point as big as Yelele, the song which gave them a continental popularity in 1999 also thanks to the remix…

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Music. Souad Massi meets the “Masters of the Word”

“The fruit of silence – an old Arab saying goes – is tranquillity”. But if silence is broken, art might reveal itself, one could reply after listening at El Mutakallimun, Souad Massi’s latest album. A word that can be translated as “the speakers” or, more freely, as “the masters of the word”, El Mutakallimun is…

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Music. Essaouira, home of the Gnawa

For almost the entire year, Essaouira, on the coast of central Morocco, is just a small port city, its main connection to music being the story – firmly believed by locals – that Jimi Hendrix wrote here the world famous Castles made of sand during his visit in the summer of 1969. However, since 1997,…

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Advocacy

The Bribris of Costa Rica: Preventing Escalation of Violence and…

The Bribris are a native people of about 11,500 in total, established in Costa Rica for centuries, some think for 5,000 years. They live on…

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Baobab

The Leopard and the Boy.

Long ago and far away there was a wealthy man who had several wives. Of a sudden, this man learned that his town was to be…

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Youth & Mission

Empowering African Youth.

Young people in Africa today face many different challenges and circumstances.  These engender both hope and hopelessness among them, depending on their  particular context and on…

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