the talking cat of azawad

In the past year, the Northern portion of Mali slipped into chaos, leaving it without military or law. Islamist militants with a bad habit of kidnapping Westerners took control of the cities, and even the most dogged reporters beat a hasty retreat to the capital. Western media empires constructed around…

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remembrance of kidal

photo: b. conrad lau “Is it true that during the Tuareg rebellion that started in 1990, he waged war against the Malian government with a Kalashnikov and a Stratocaster strapped across each shoulder? 'That's exactly what happened,' he says softly.” “Sands of Fate.” Peter Culshaw, Feb. 18 2007 1. Kidal…

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new media and imagined geographies

For those of you in the Northwest, I'll be showing some of the best modern digital art from the Sahel -- opening this Saturday at the new Portland Museum of Modern Art, "Azawad Libre! New Media and Imagined Geographies in the Sahel" draws from cellphone photography, Facebook profile graphics, and…

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the last recordings of gao

In February of 2012, I visited Gao. The rebellion had just begun and every day the bus station was flooded with refugees from Kidal, climbing out of the cramped cars, carrying everything in bulging plastic sacks. Many came here to the city by the river for safety while the situation…

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windmills of your mind

Régime De La Terreur: Ansar Dine has invaded the North of Mali, imposing a Taliban style Sharia. A cut to turbaned men breaking glass, overturning plastic crates of amber beer bottles, shouting 'Allah Akbar." It's vicious, yet the religious fervor seems a bit staged. They are excited, not with righteousness,…

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The flag of the independent autonomous region of Azawad is a variation on the green, yellow, and red found across the continent. But for the inclusion of black. It recalls the flag of Palestine, an ally at least in a similar struggle for statehood against an overpowering military foe. It's…

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