Songs for Desert Refugees (Glitterhouse Records – Reaktion / July 9 2012)
By Violeta Ruano Posada
Many had not even heard of the Touareg people, or as they call themselves, the Kel Tamashek, until the poignant voices of Tinariwen burst into the lives of music lovers around the world like a sandstorm. Today, the Touareg-led uprising in northern Mali and the consequent political and humanitarian crisis in the region have drawn international attention to this nomadic society after years of territorial and social demands. This revolution, however, has left behind more than 200,000 refugees trying to survive in improvised camps across the territory. The notion of desert refugees is, sadly, not new in the Sahara.