Anti- Records Two members of Malian world rock group Tinariwen are currently…
- Posted on Jan 31st 2013 1:30PM by Jason MacNeil
Valery Hache, AFP
"The Festival in the Desert has for 12 years been an international event where cultures have come together," organizers said yesterday in a press release. "But today, time are difficult. International attention is focused on Mali for reasons entirely different than its legendary music. Conditions have deteriorated in the region. An international military effort has raised a state of emergency. The situation on the ground is volatile. Important historical monuments and ancient libraries are being destroyed in Timbuktu. Innocent civilians are scattering to escape the shooting and bombardment. War now grips Mali.
"This week, the Government has requested that we temporarily postpone the Sahel portion of the Festival, as insecurity in the region could jeopardize the safety of tourists, technicians, artists, journalists, etc. The planned February Caravan for Peach in the Sahel, a action designed to transmit a message of reconciliation and tolerance, will be postponed most likely until late fall, after the rainy season."
The release -- also found on the festival site -- also added organizers are working to ensure Festival-in-Exile events internationally will carry on as planned in the spring.
Organizers had decided to stage this year's festival as a traveling one, beginning in the Sahel region of Africa before making additional African stops from February to April. From there dates in Europe, the U.S. and Asia are planned from April through to September. Artists had been confirmed for Africa's "West Caravan" and "East Caravan" including rock group Tinariwen, Mamar Kassey, Oumou Sangare and a tribute to Ali Farka Toure featuring Toumani Diabate and Vieux Farka Toure among others. More information will be provided on their status in a matter of weeks.
In mid-January some of Mali's biggest musicians united to release a video and single entitled "Mali-ko (Peace/La Paix)" which was placed on musician Toumani Diabate's Facebook page.
"In response to the situation in Mali, Fatoumata Diawara has gathered together over 40 of the Country's most renowned musicians to record a video and song calling for peace," the post read with a link to the nearly seven-minute song. Artists include Diabate, Amadou & Mariam and Vieux Farke Toure among many others.
- "Testify" Rage Against the Machine (2000)
- "Let's Roll" Neil Young (2001)
- "Succexxy" Metric 2003
- "Mosh" Eminem 2004
- "American Idiot" Green Day 2004
- "Sunshowers" M.I.A 2004
- "Here's Your Future" The Thermals 2006
- "My President" Young Jeezy ft Nas 2008
- "Somalia" K'Naan 2009
- "Uprising" Muse 2009
- "I Need a Dollar" Aloe Blacc 2010
- "We Take Care of Our Own" Bruce Springsteen, 2012
The conflict in Mali is between Malian soldiers with a French-led military intervention and groups linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic militants. The militants have also essentially declared a war on music, banning it from northern regions of Mali they currently control.
"Music is important as a daily event," "Manny" Ansar, Festival in the Desert director, told the Guardian earlier this month regarding the situation. "It's not just a business, for it's through our music that we know history and our own identity. It's through music that we declare love and get married -- and we criticize and make comments on the people around us."
As for the musicians still in Mali, members of Tinariwen reported on Jan. 3 that band guitarist Abdallah Ag Lamida, also known as "Intidao" was "safe and free" and "we are all relieved for himself, his friends and his family..."
Spinner reported last February other band members were stranded in dangerous areas and were unable to tour with their bandmates.