nouakchott pt. 1

A wedding in cinquieme, held under a tent, in one of the numerous sand courtyards in the neighborhood. You can’t not be a spectator. There is an electric guitar and a dozen hand drums, as well as a griot singer.

soninke wedding

Later that night, the wedding moves indoors. I stand out in the darkness outside the mosque to take a recording from over the wall.


Salif is a Pulaar folk musician; guitar student and instructor. He has a hair salon separated by a sheet from the tailor next door.

pulaar folk

Sekou and Cos2Cos have a recording studio. It is also a hair salon and cell phone repair shop. Cos2Cos puts together a reggaeton track, and Abid, a rapper from the Central African Republic stops by for an impromptu improvisation.

studio recording

At sunset in the marche capital – Hassiniya music blares from the cassette shop nearby while the cars fight their way through the gridlock.


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