Desert Blues. Cultural Activism in the Sahel

Film "It Must Make Peace" und Filmgespräch

Zeit und Ort


Donnerstag 27 Mai 2021: 18:30 - 20.00 CEST (Wien), 16:30 - 18:00 UTC: Dokumentation “It Must Make Peace” von Paul Chandler, Brian David Melnyk, Mali 2017 I 83 min,  OF: Bambara, French, Peul, UT: English (Zoom)


Donnerstag 27  Mai 2021, 20:00 -21:30 CEST (Wien), 18:00 - 19:30 UTC/GMT: Filmgespräch  "Desert Blues: Cultural Activism in the Sahel" (Zoom)

Weitere Filme siehe CultureXChange Mini Fespaco


Filmgespräch: Englisch mit französischer Dolmetschung


Live im VIDC facebook-channel:




Aminata Ndiaye

Gender Expertin und Leiterin der G5 Sahel Gender Abteilung, Nouakchott, Mauretanien

Paul Chandler

Regisseur, Musiker und Produzent, Bamako, Mali

François A. Akouabou Adianaga

Künstlerischer Leiter Filmfestival FESPACO, Ougadougou, Burkina Faso

Alioune Ifra Ndiaye

Theaterautor und Filmregisseur, Bamako, Mali

Moderator: Rita Isiba

Moderatorin, Referentin und Trainerin, Wien


Irène Hochauer-Kpoda, Franz Schmidjell


Painters decorating a wall © Sven Torfinn

Painters decorating a wall © Sven Torfinn

(Text ist nur in englischer Sprache verfügbar) The rich, vibrant culture of the Sahel states is under threat. The documentary „It Must Make Peace“  gives voice to Mali's artists, accompanies them to remote and insecure locations and celebrates their performances with unique instruments and rhythms, including the so-called Desert Blues.  

The Sahel region, including countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Tchad or Mauritania, is facing multiple crises: in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change related disasters  cause food insecurity for milliions of people. The lack of perspectives for the predominantly young population leads to discontent and social tensions which are exploited by radicals and terrorist groups. Jihadist movements try to establish a tyrannic regime, banning music, film, literature or visual arts.

Despite a growing number of international security initiatives, including the French counter-terrorism operation Barkhane, the UN led Stabilization Mission MINUSMA, the EU Training Mission and the G5 Sahel Alliance, the security situation has worsened.   

The film director of „It Must Make Peace“, Paul Chandler, and other experts from the cultural sector will discuss among others following questions: What is the impact of jihadism, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic on cultural and film creation in the Sahel? How and where do filmmakers’ network when festivals and exchange programs are removed? How governments cope with the impact of these threats on society and culture? Can cultural workers be voices for peace or will they remain unheared under the noise of the guns?


Aminata Ndiaye

is a senior gender expert and the regional gender advisor for the G5 Sahel. The G5 Sahel is an institutional framework for regional cooperation on development and security policies in the Sahel covering Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. As head of the Gender Department of the G5 Sahel, she is responsible for the protection of the rights and the promotion of women's leadership to prevent violent extremism in the Sahel region. Aminata Ndiaye works for over 20 years with international organisations, governments, military, police and civil society. She is a sociologist with a doctorate (Ph.D.) from Laval University, Canada and master degrees in sociology and in philosophy from France. 

Paul Chandler

is a musician, visionary educator, film director and music producer living and working in Bamako, Mali since 2003. He has produced the documentary feature “It Must Make Peace” which has met with incredible reviews in Mali and international.  He is director of Instruments4Africa (I4A), a not-for-profit organization formed to reinforce traditional music in West Africa. He has produced events and organized projects in Mali for Google, National Geographic, New York Times, Carnegie Hall, USAID, Johns Hopkins/Bloomberg School of Public Health, UNICEF, World Circuit Records, BBC and Africa Express.  Through this work, Paul Chandler has fostered relationships with community leaders in the region that are invaluable in the making of Vieux Mali. He has worked with Mali’s most outstanding musicians, like Salif Keita, Bassekou Kouyaté, Oumou Sangaré and Rokia Traoré.

François A. Akouabou Adianaga

is currently head of the Festival Department at the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso. He has held this position since 2014. He graduated in 2010 from the National School of Administration and Magistracy with the diploma of School and University Administration Advisor. He holds the position of head of the conservation department at the African Cinématheque of Ouagadougou. Responsible for film management and programming of the FESPACO, he is also in charge of managing collaborations with other film festivals and cultural events around the world.

Alioune Ifra Ndiaye

is a play writer as well as a theatre and film director. In 1998, Ndiaye founded the BlonBa theatre company that has given several hundred performances in Senegal, Benin, France and Belgium. Ndiaye has co-written and produced five shows in the Kotèba theatrical tradition, a theatrical expression based on traditional Bambara heritage, and consisting of dance, chants, comedy and comic satires. In January 2007, BlonBa opened its cultural space in Bamako, the only alternative to the French Cultural Centre (CCF). He has directed documentaries, fiction films and music videos. In 2013, Ndiaye founded his own television channel in Bamako, called Wôklôni. He studied digital audiovisual production and post-production at the international audiovisual training and production center, CIFAP, in Montreuil. He lives in Bamako, Mali.

Rita Isiba (Moderator)

is a speaker, moderator and trainer, based in Vienna, Austria. As a certified Business Consultant, she brings more than 15 years of experience in communication and management. She is founder of Aphropean Partners, a company specialised in communication and engagement for development, established in 2016. A year later, she founded the  Frontiers of Dialogue Forum, a non-profit organisation promoting Africa and Austria/EU collaborations.