Sharjah Art Foundation

Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present

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Tinariwen. Photo: Marie Planeille. Image courtesy of the artist.


Sharjah Art Foundation is excited to present multigenerational Grammy Award-winning Tuareg band Tinariwen live in Sharjah as part of the Sharjah Biennial 15 Music Programme.

Tinariwen, whose name translates to ‘People of the Deserts’ or ‘The Desert Boys’ in Tamashek, merges traditional Tuareg melodies and rhythms with guitar-driven rock ‘n’ roll in a style known as assouf among the Tuareg people and dubbed ‘desert blues’ by music critics. This style has its roots in West Africa, specifically the Great Bend region between Timbuktu and Gao along the Niger River.

Tinariwen was founded in 1979 by Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, along with Alhassane Ag Touhami and brothers Inteyeden Ag Ablil and Liya Ag Ablil (aka ‘Diarra), in Tamanrasset, Algeria, while they were in exile from Mali. Having moved from refugee camp to refugee camp in both Algeria and Libya, they joined military training in Libya in the early 1980s, also continuing to write and perform songs about issues facing the Tuareg people. In 1989 they returned to Mali, where some band members joined a Tuareg rebellion, but they dedicated themselves to music full-time after a peace accord was reached in 1991.

The concert features Ibrahim Ag Alhabib (vocals, guitar), Abdallah Ag Alhousseyni (vocals, guitar) Touhami Ag Alhassane (vocals, guitar) Tahar Khaldi (vocals, bass guitar) Elaga Ag Hamid (vocals, guitar) and Said Ag Ayad (vocals, percussion).

The Sharjah Biennial 15 Music Programme has been made possible with the generous support of Bank of Sharjah and Sharjah Government Media Bureau.

Booking and tickets

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