Festival au Désert 2013 has been forced into exile. Like the people and music it celebrates, it has been forced from its home by the very violence whose end it was meant to be commemorating. Hopefully 2014 will see Mali heading in a new direction, one which guarantees all its peoples their rights and freedoms. Most of all I hope next year to receive an email press release inviting me to cover the Festival au Désert at its home near Timbuktu, and that music will once again ring out across the desert.
(Festival photos by Alice Mutasa www.placesandseasons.com)