timia pt 2

Visiting Niamey, we lodge with the students from Timia. Our last sessions of recordings have made their way throughout the diaspora (previously). Haidara tells me they've been playing one of his songs on the radio in Agadez. We enter into a debate about the pros and cons of Bluetooth file…

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Niger Guitars Pt. 2

Haïdara and Abdoulaye live with their friends in a compound on the fringes of Niamey, the capital of Niger. The two concrete buildings house perhaps thirty students who have come here to attend the University. They are all from the town of Timia, an oasis in the Aïr mountains far…

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Mammane and his Electronic Organ

Lost in a music archive in the capital of Niger was the first I heard of the legendary Mammane Sanni Abdoulaye. The space was overflowing with dusty CDs, cassettes, and Nagra reels, and hunkering down from the insufferable heat outside, I prepared to spend a long week in research. Mammane's…

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Niger Guitars Pt. 1

Mohamed Karzo - C'est La Vie Guitar music in Niger is curiously distant from its Malian cousins. Looking at a map of the Sahara and following the roads, it makes sense - though the two countries share a border, the respective capitals (Kidal, Agadez) are often reached via a circuitous…

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herdsmen of the nescafe

I meet Badji incidentally because of a cellphone. He's selling coffee, or rather cups of Nescafe, those dreaded brown crystals dropped into hot water that taste something between chemical and organic, ammonia and dirt. It's 3 am outside the bus station in Niamey and I'm leaving for Northern Niger, exhausted…

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