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Directed by:
Kathi von Koerber

Director of Video Photography:
Kika Vliegentheart

DP 16 mm:
Diego Benavente

Andreas Lang

Sound recording:
Odin Ruz Hansberg & Fernando Velzaquez

Edited by:
CC Treadway

Animation by:
Joao Amorim

Music composer:
Jamshied Sharifi

PRODUCED by KIAHKEYA productions.

The Spirit of Making the Film
Shot on the Panasonic 24p video and 16mm, the imagery of "Footsteps in Africa, A Nomadic Journey" is an interlacing of the vivid beauty of the desert life, and also the radical authenticity of existence their within. The 16 mm shot with the Bolex, one-stop frames, from hip height, alternating superimpositions, conjure the distant memory of creative and ancient mystic ways of life. The Video Director of Photography Kika Vliegenthart, recorded the Tuareg in their most ascetic and adorned ways, capturing the beauty of living that is worth maintaining.

The Director Kathi von Koerber believes that the wisdom that nomadic life entails, gives deep insight into humans' relationship to the earth. She calls this the transcendental frequency, a melody at heart at which humans coexist. The Tuareg, being keepers of ancient music and dance, allow the frequency to speak through them, their hearts, their music and melody. 'Footsteps in Africa, A Nomadic Journey' is a film allowing the essence of these nomadic people to speak for themselves while embarking on an amazing musical voyage.

The Soundtrack of "Footsteps in Africa, A Nomadic Journey", plays a quintessential factor in relating to the universal spirit of a nomad. For the Nomad Music is a form of expressing beauty, an artful form of storytelling and a way of connecting the people with one another and nature itself.

The Silence of the desert speaks loud, and the trance like music resonates indefinitely. The sand hums and resonates. The people chant in union with each other, the fire and the stars. The music for the Nomad is an instrument to endure the hardships of their daily life. Music provides joy to the soul, like water does to the body. To survive, music sees through any chore, and secures a connection with God, with existence, the mysticism of being alive. The role of music simply is a natural commitment to life in the nomadic culture.

The Music in "Footsteps in Africa, A Nomadic Journey" narrates the thousands of year old journey right up to the present. Along with tribal field recordings, the music chosen conveys the intrinsic human message and behavior of revolutionary survival, freedom and inner truth. The Film score is an interweaving of today's Tuareg bands Tinariwen and Tartit, the bohemian Moroccan musician Hassan Hakmoun, the overtone voice, base and hertz frequencies of Amaruvision referencing the emotions of the desert, and Iranian world music composer Jamshied Sharifi, who traverses the musical voyage and cultural migration, and its affect on present world music.

More than a recording of their culture, the nomad lives in all our hearts, giving us the possibility to reflect on the path that we have chosen. Thus a very rich international soundscape results, allowing the universality of the thematic to be revealed. The power of music and dance unites cultures, and there with "Footsteps in Africa, A Nomadic Journey" opens the door back to Africa and the messages it has to share.

"Footsteps in Africa, a nomadic journey" is an ode to acting in the name of freedom. It is an ode to the motivation of why music is the heartbeat of people lives.

Less is more. Taken from many interviews we selected pertinent wisdom in the form of proverbs, anecdotes and reflections on time and people that conveys the strength and dignity of the Tuareg. We interviewed interviews by regional chiefs, teachers, Koranic healers, elders of villages, children, musicians, festival directors, documentary film makers, as a road trip allows, whom you meet you allow to speak. In affect it became a survey and reflection of the land, the people, the reality on the ground. All the text in the film was taken from interviews throughout the making of the film, and composed into the film, in a poetic way as the crew experienced the journey.

In a very experiential way it was conveyed to us that simplicity is the way of life.

"The Desert has it own rules...surrender...unity in everything"
GIL of the Israeli group Sheva.

Codes of the Tuareg:
(taken from the interview with GIL)
"First is the nomad because he has the religion of the desert, the desert has its own rules, I mean you can think you are something: Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Zaratustra, what ever, but you come here, you need to take off the shoes, and surrender or you die. First of all hospitality, the codes of how to meet some one... Second is water like if I have water, you come to me, I have half there is no mine on water, on food, on tent, no mine Third is the unity in everything, to see, to work really heavy, to understand and to do the effort as much as you can to experience the one in everything, so if you come and you are different than me, different culture, different religion I have to do the effort to understand that you and me are one."

Quotes by Mahmoud Ag Mohammed former chief of the Gourmat region:
"We did not know we were poor until you told us we were poor."

Life is Nature
So this is the big problem. Us and our big space, in recent times, when I say recent times, I mean the last century, we have been aggressed in our space. The modern has aggressed us, and has brought us the goods of science, modernity, vehicle, cinema of this and thatů Good. It is not that bad in a sense that we can give and receive, its not that serious. But what is very serious is that the modern way with its sanitized politics, there has been demographic exploitations, expulsion of life, the extension of cultivated land because for us the Tuaregs we are pastoralists. Agriculture was always favored over pastoralism. So that the land of the pastoralists was taken by Modern agriculture who were favored by the administration. And further more there have been years of drought, that have reduced our space. The nomadic Tuareg and pastoralists are very fragile and vulnerable. They suffered great losses of animals, human life and in the end, to survive they had a reaction. Instead of living the great nomadic tradition, because the frontiers of the country are guarded we were obliged to reduce the space in which we could live. The extensive became the intensive.

We have preserved the maximum of our cultural identity, while taking from the modern world also what helps us survive. Voila.

Quote by Daniela Smith, filmmaker from London


MOHAMED AG MAHMOUD (former Mayor of the Gourma Region)

"Festival de Goosi" Mayor NAWALY KAMISSOKO and the many NOMADIC TRIBES from surrounding regions, and the countries of Niger, Burkina Faso and Algeria.

"Festival in the Desert" MANNY ANSAAR the Director of the Also many thanks to ALMOU AG MOHAMMED and CHRIS NOLAN



Joao Amorim, Jami Bailey, Deva Hari Parkash, Stanley Buchtal, Curious Pictures, Sahar Farmanfarmanian, Rene Goiffon, Simone Haggiag, Victoria Hanna, Hassan Hakmoun, Sasha Jansen, George Konan, Benno Klandt, Lilly Ladjevardi, Benno Klandt, Deva Hari Parkash, Odin Ruz Hansberg, Michel Madie Projectile Arts, Reality Engine Studios, Tonya Ridgely, Bernandette Riebenot, Odin Ruz, Tona from Huehue, Laurence Singer, Dr. Marina von Koerber, Dr. Eberhard von Koerber and all those who go unmentioned...

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