Mauritanian singer and social activist Malouma

This is a video of Mauritanian singer Malouma.

By Paul Murphy:

Marabi Recordings
CD out now

Imagine a conscious collision between Tinariwen and Natacha Atlas and you’ll begin to picture Nour, the superb new album from the remarkable Mauritanian singer and social activist Malouma.

She began to break taboos with songs about divorce in the 1980s and was banned in the 1990s for singing songs to unite the black and Moorish communities in Mauritania. Malouma’s activism led to her being elected as an MP to Mauritania’s upper house in January this year.

While rooted in traditional Moorish music, Nour draws widely from Arabic, African and Western forms – old and new. With this terrific album, Malouma has plugged the Sahara into the whole world and struck another blow for women’s rights in the process.

Mauritania is not new to food crises; in the last few years it has suffered from drought and swarms of locusts that have ravaged people’s cereal harvests. It is a land where water is scarce and where people suffer from chronic poverty. Furthermore, the Sahel countries face a different kind of insecurity problem because their rural populations are higher than the urban populations. Supporting community vegetable gardens is one of the ways that BirdLife International, through the Living on the Edge project is responding to the challenges in Mauritania.  The project is supporting the introduction or extension of vegetable gardening in the Sahel through irrigation from the Senegal River. A village at Windim now has a flourishing community vegetable garden measuring 1 ha, thanks to the efforts of residents; supported by training, tools and seeds from Nature Mauritanie- the BirdLife Partner in Mauritania, delivered through financial support from the Dutch Post Code Lottery and Vogelbescherming Nederland (VBN) – the BirdLife Partner in the Netherlands: here.

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