Home > Peace in the Arts > Festival Au Desert: Music Of Peace Not Silenced By War | NPR

Festival Au Desert: Music Of Peace Not Silenced By War | NPR

festival-desertLong ago, one of my college history professors hammered home a durable truth: “If you love art,” she said, “you should hate war.” Because some art is always among war’s victims.

A case in point is a music celebration called Festival au Desert — held near Timbuktu, Mali, since 2001 — which I will Anglicize as Festival in the Desert. In January 2012, right after the last festival ended, a nationalist uprising began in the north of Mali, which was soon taken over by hardline Islamic fundamentalists. The 2013 Festival was canceled, and even a caravan-style mobile concert was deemed too dangerous. After intervention by the French and others, the conflict has cooled down, to the point where the Festival in the Desert may return next year. In the meantime, as a special souvenir of what was celebrated in Mali, we have a new record of the 2012 shows, titled Live From Festival au Desert Timbuktu.

For more on this story, visit: Festival Au Desert: Music Of Peace Not Silenced By War : NPR.

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