Mali’s been sliding into civil war, failed state-ism and general chaos for a while now. Of course it had it coming for decades, but such is the world we’ve built; we don’t take notice until Al-Qaeda settles in a place and then send in jets and drones. It’s not the first country that collapsed in this way, and will not be the last, but as westerners we feel a special bond with Mali, being home to ancient cities such as Timbuktu and an amazing cosmos of music.
Here’s a few of my favorite Mali musicians:
Amadou & Mariam:
Master Kora player Toumani Diabati:
The Blues of Ali Farka Toure:
And last but not least, the music Tinariwen, the most famous of Touareq rebel bands of the north of Mali. Who apart from making great music have sang for years about injustice and uprising. But you know, the music was so good, we kept booking them at festivals without actually listening to what they were singing about:
Here’s where most people would stop reading, and I wouldn’t blame you. Even if Mali is only a country of great music, that’s more than many other countries are to us. However, if you want to know more about the civil war raging in the country, start reading this blog: