Monthly Archives: September 2010

Videos from Saharan Cellphones

I’ve written briefly about cellular phones in West Africa. As ubiquitous media devices, they are perhaps most used in sharing and exchange of files, particularly bluetooth transfers of mp3s. While in Kidal I collected memory cards from cellphones and copied loads of mp3s — ranging from Tamashek guitar, Algerian Rai, Coupe Decale, Kuduro, Hip Hop, as well as loads of Arabic habibe pop, French ballads, Bollywood hits, and Dire Straits — some of which I’ve put out on a few cassette mix tapes.

In due process, I also ended up with a few videos. Some are personal footage, which I’ll leave off the internets — although the file sharing means that even this stuff gets around quite a bit. Some are concerning the Tuareg rebellion, now in a tenuous peace in Mali. But there are also music videos from Algeria to Cote d’Ivoire, comedic sketches in Tamashek, and homemade political photomontage…