April 2016 theme: Exile and the diaspora

Africa is a continent of 54 nations. Its borders, however, are a legacy of European colonial ambitions and therefore remain a source of many of its troubles today. Political and economic strife on the continent have caused many African musicians to flee to neighbouring countries, regional centres or even abroad to North America and Europe, all in search of a more stable environment to write, record and perform their music. Some leave their home countries for good, never to return. Over decades, African music scenes have been established all over the world - not only on the continent.

Songhoy Blues. Photo: www.oscarhudsonfilm.com
Songhoy Blues. Photo: www.oscarhudsonfilm.com

In today’s volatile political climate, where issues of migration and refugees are more prominent now than ever, we have chosen to focus on exile and more broadly the African diaspora as our theme of the month of April 2016. Music In Africa has compiled a selection of relevant reading - including overview texts on the exiled music industries of Mali, Eritrea, South Africa (in the 1980s) and Rwanda (in the 1990s), as well as other interesting features and news on this vital subject.

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