Fête de la Musique
It was during my three years living in Paris that I was first exposed to the Fête de la musique, an annual event that fills the air in the France’s towns and villages with music. Brass bands play on street corners a few metres away from rappers performing outside restaurants. Inside small bars, guitarists entertain. Cafés, parks and monuments are all full of performances on the northern hemisphere’s longest day of the year.
If you told me one year ago today, listening to bands play in Paris, that in twelve months time I would be reliving a slice of this in Sudan’s capital, still fêting la musique, it would have been a struggle to believe.
But the francophones of Centre Culturel Français in Khartoum did good - the roof of the centre was filled by a mix of Sudanese & expatriates. A mix of bands & students took to the stage, breaking many stereotypes of the country. The music was a mix of Western classics, improvised slam and Sudanese songs that brought the assembled crowd to their feet. A solitary fan provided little respite from the unrelenting heat of the day’s sun, blowing air in the direction of the French ambassador and his wife.
Ça va ou quoi ? shouted one rather vocal rapper. Ça va bien.