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08 Apr


Borderless Music

April 8, 2010 | By |

Sharing a few fantastic African and World Music video clips

Since the launch of our newly redesigned EWB-Grand River website, I’ve been ferreting through useful resources to share here, both with our own chapter members and other interested folk who drop by.  Due to the serious nature of much of the work in which EWB is involved, a lot of the information I’ll be sharing is indeed serious.  However, I think it might encourage people to pop by these posts, if I mix it up a bit and occasionally share some resources that are a bit more entertaining.  For example, I’d like to use some African music and art as an enjoyable and educational component in our ongoing efforts to reinforce and celebrate our connection to Africa. 

I had started looking through some of my African music CDs last week, thinking about putting together a few tracks to play before and after a member learning workshop or a group meeting, to pep things up a little.  Sharing a little African and international music could energize and loosen-up a meeting, while also fostering our sense of connection across the geographical and cultural distances.  It would also be useful to have handy the web links or DVDs of a couple relevant music videos, in case someone in our chapter wants to play some intriguing and inspiring images during those useable but unstructured minutes between the first person arriving and the last person getting seated and our meeting finally getting underway, 

But why wait?  Let me share a couple of my favourite new African music videos with you here.  These are by two internationally popular and acclaimed musicians from Mali.  Please turn up your computer speakers and click each video’s full screen icon “plein écran”.  With some of the Alloclips videos, the toolbar at the bottom of the video window might not be accessible until you are about 10 seconds into the clip.  By the way, when you go to the Alloclips site, the video you play might be preceded by a brief commercial for one of the other albums on the website.

From the incredible Salif Keita‘s album  La Différence, this is the title track video.

The visuals may look a little utilitarian at the beginning of the video, but hang in there, you will soon see where it is going and some of these images are wonderful.   A little background from Wikipedia: 

Keita’s latest album, La Différence is dedicated to the struggle of the world albino community (Keita is an albino) … In one of the album’s tracks, the singer calls others to understand that “difference” does not mean “bad” and to show love and compassion towards albinos like everyone else:  “I am black/ my skin is white/ so I am white and my blood is black/… I love that because it is a difference that’s beautiful … some of us are beautiful some are not/ some are black some are white/ all that difference was on purpose… for us to complete each other/ let everyone get his love and dignity/ the world will be beautiful.”  This phrase “the world (life) will be beautiful” is the repeated refrain “La vie sera belle”.

From Rokia Traoré we have the lovely song “Dounia“, from her 2009 album Tchamantché.

I have quite a few fabulous African music CDs, ranging from very traditional to thoroughly modern, sung in various languages, and from almost every country on the continent.  However, as far as African music videos go, I mostly have only low resolution fan-filmed YouTube-type concert clips.  What I’m a little short of are professionally filmed African music videos with the high resolution images that would stand up to being shown on a large screen using a projector.  If you know of any good ones, whether available online or on a DVD for purchase, do let me know by posting a comment.

Briefly getting a tad off topic, here’s an Alloclips music video for any of you football (soccer) fans eagerly looking forward to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa starting in June – Akon’s “Oh Africa“.   And for hip hop fans, check out this video of the song by Salif Keita and the French rap group L’Skadrille about postcolonial immigration policy in France:  “Nou Pas Bouger” (“You Can’t Move Us”).  

I’m closing this post with an interesting video from Rachid Taha, “Indie (1+1+1)“, that in its own way echoes the message:  though it’s a big, diverse world out there, we are all joined together on the journey!  And remember, please feel free to recommend your own favourite African or “borderless” music videos.   Throughout the year. I’ll occasionally be sharing some more music or art links on the themes of connecting to Africa and uniting across borders.


  1. Ceve – I had a listent to a few of your recommendations – they sound great! Keep them coming…