Je suis le fils de la terre maternelle
Je suis l’enfant des douleurs éternelles
Je ne suis pas le seigneur du désert
Mais l’esclave des horizons nus

I am the son of the maternal ground
I am the child of eternal pain
I am not the lord of the desert
But the slave of naked horizons

From the poem ‘Pas de Nom’ (‘No Name’) by Issa Rhossey, a Touareg poet from the Aïr region. The poem is published in ‘Tourne-tête, le pays déchiqueté’, a collection of modern Touareg poetry edited by Hélène Claudot-Hawad and Hawad, and published by Éditions Amara. This extract is translated from French by Andy Morgan.


From the website’s About page (though I am not sure who wrote this text…) :

When the time came, I ducked under the red leather animal hide covers of a traditional Touareg tent and sat myself down gingerly on a sandy technicolor floor mat. The cool and dark space was filled by about seven men, sitting, lounging, cross-legged, squatting, unperturbed, relaxed and minimalist in their movements. Some were turbanned, others were not. There was Hassan aka Abin Abin aka the Lion of the Desert, Mohammed aka Japonais, Abdallah aka Catastrophe, Ibrahim aka Abaraybone, Kheddou and other extended members of the crew like Sweiloum, Diarra and Bigga. They sat immobile like resting fighters, neither aggressive nor overly friendly. Their calmness and lack of excess… excess talk, excess movement, excess belongings, excess emotion… flustered me. A tea was being prepared with unforced ritual. Tea drinking in the Sahara is emblematic of hospitality, friendship and the slow baked pace of things. I set up my DAT nervously and then asked the dumbest but most obvious question available to the unprepared journalist, “How did it all begin?” Long pause. Mild panic. Tinariwen remained ice cool. Eventually Japonnais began to answer the question in minuscule chunks of guttural and heavily accented French, each punctuated with the phrase “Est ce que tu vois ça?” or “do you get me?”, which sounded more like ‘Iskitiwassa?” Those bafflingly oriental facial features, which are the source of his nickname, remained sharp and penetrating, Shogun-like, throughout. Then after about a minute he motioned me to switch off my DAT machine and proceeded to confer with his brothers-in-arms, in Tamashek, the Touareg language. A full-blown debate started to brew. There seemed to be disagreements about dates, times, names and places. Fifteen minutes later the discussion was still raging, and I was still sitting there, largely ignored, with my inactive DAT machine in front of me. It was almost comical. ( Click to read more …)

Tinariwen & Carlos Santana : Amassakoul







I was busy browsing Izzonline and found this a quote by the Dalai Lama.

It’s a time when there is much in the window
But nothing in the room. (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.)

Read the complete quote here.

This is a topic that fascinates me – since the very first time I sent that e-mail I was amazed by the power of the Internet and I really enjoy exploring web 2.0 tools.

I fully believe that there are major problems with today’s educational system – I don’t think we learn the right things at school – (to see this we only need to look at today’s world and all the problems we encounter and cause on a daily basis) – I always beleived that knowledge and skills must be freely shared from person to person ( it used to be the case in the old days – it’s actually nothing new ) and that is what I try to do on a daily basis in the OpenCafe.

I don’t have any qualifications when it comes to IT – I learn everything I know from manuals, mailing lists, websites that I find on the NET – similarly to all others in the open source world – the knowledge I have picked up so far enables me to run an Internet cafe, create websites, write books, run workshops – in other words all the skills I learn (for free) I use daily in my work – and I see a lot of potential in the new tools I see appear on the web almost daily to help me learn in an even more efficient way and also help me apply my new knowledge using web 2.0 tools.

Steve’s blog, How To Split An Atom explores web 2.0 concepts – it’s a new world – and his blog will help you get to survive in it.

How to Split an Atom

Steven on web 2.0

Peopleized by: Szavanna – Friday, 06 July 2007

sbspalding All about the meaning behind web 2.0 and exploring the concept of a \”2.0 culture\” in which we translate web 2.0 concepts into offline tools for those without Internet and computer access.

Szavanna: Thanks for agreeing to answer these questions and many greetings from the OpenCafe. Please introduce yourself in a few words and tell about the reasons for choosing to write about web 2.0 related topics.

sbspalding: My name is Steve Spalding, I am an Engineer, blogger (How To Split An Atom), entrepreneur and web enthusiast. I choose to write about Web 2.0 because I believe the idea of the “social web” and the communities that have been created around this idea is fertile ground for all the next, big disruptive forces in technology.

Szavanna: You say your blog is about “Web 2.0 culture, and how to survive in it” – it does sound like there are some challenges to overcome in this new online world – what are some of these?

sbspalding: The short list are these: information overload, loss of identity, management of reputation, and privacy to name a few.

For every new innovation there are associated challenges. Web 2.0 is no different.

Szavanna: Web 1.0, web 2.0, web 3.0 – how would you say the web evolved over time and where is it heading? (If you can describe in a few sentences.)

sbspalding: Absolutely.

Web 1.0 was the static web, in this web we were fed information and we consumed it.

Web 2.0 is the community web. Now, information is all a part of a conversation. We have social networks, blogs and wikis that allow is to interact with knowledge.

Web 3.0 will be the semantic web. When we have orders of magnitude more knowledge than any one person could ever hope to deal with, we’ll need ways to parse it down into manageable chunks. Web 3.0 will answer these questions. Once a week or so I blog about this over at How To Split An Atom.

Szavanna: What role widgets play in today’s Internet – what are some of the best uses for widgets?

sbspalding: Widgets help simplify and codify the web. They allow is to easily import information from various “islands” in our web empires. As we continue to participate in larger and larger numbers of web services, widgets will be the technology that enables to pull all of the information we produce back into a central location.

Szavanna: There seems to be a big gap between social networking online and offline – do the two worlds ever meet?

sbspalding: More and more. People are selling real, physical property on Facebook and Craig’s List. In Second Life, real money transactions occur daily, on business cards many people are starting to include their personal websites and blogs.

Our digital lives and our “real” lives are becoming more intertwined on an almost daily basis.

Szavanna: I have always been interested in finding ways of “translating” web 2.0 concepts to just “2.0 culture” what would be possible ways of broadening this new trend and include everyone in it – be it Internet user or someone without computer and Internet access?

sbspalding: 2.0 culture. That’s an interesting concept, one that I agree with. The idea is simple, “2.0” is conversational knowledge sharing.

I know something, whether it is a broad topic or a narrow niche and I make my knowledge easily available to those around me. Basically, “2.0” thinking is evangelizing for the long tail.

Instead of thinking of knowledge in terms of broad subject we think more in terms of narrow niches, and we focus our energy on spreading that knowledge as efficiently as possible.

Szavanna: OpenCafe’s approach – kind of a web 2.0 for everyone – an open source Internet cafe that offers and supports the creation and sharing of open source software/open content support, free skill exchange, international audience both offline and online – we are a kind of “offline widget” 🙂 – taking online content making it available in an offline non-profit setup ( via our Freedom Toaster and other tools ) with a strong educational focus – any thoughts/suggestions for our project – can such a project become a global trend and contribute to new ways of teaching, learning and interacting?

sbspalding: I think it’s a fantastic idea mate, one I would be more than happy to explore on my blog if you are willing to sit down for an interview yourself? Thanks for the opportunity.

sbspalding’s Page   Authors Page: Szavanna

powered by Peopleized!

Steve thanks for the interview – so much to learn – so I will be exploring your blog further – in order to gather questions for future interviews on this topic.

I just heard that the Baaahhh cast has posted their first video on YouTube. Have a look!

Displaced, abandoned and yet somehow triumphant, the Sara Tavares story is as extraordinary as her music. (Click to read Sara’s story)

Today’s artist suggested by Kanute (visit his blog to find great jazz and useful Linux related info) – thanks so much – great choice – I love Sara’s music – real unique sound – a fusion of so many influences.


Singing in a combination of Portuguese, Angolan, Crioulo and English, Sara Tavares’ songs are quintessentially Cape Verdean yet also personal. “Balancê” is about the need for balance in all of life, and was inspired by an episode during a trip to Zimbabwe. “I saw some really drunk people dancing,” says Tavares. “We were watching them, and they were always almost falling and then they would catch themselves. Just like those people dancing, I also want to dance with that kind of freedom and balance.” The video captures both the anecdotal and philosophical intent of the song. ( from

And here is Sara playing Born Feeling live :

For more of Sara’s music – here are some links:

Thanks so much Dara for posting the very first song – ( Much Kudos to You 🙂 ( from Ali Farka Toure) and what a great blues song ( from the movie ‘Unfaithful’ ).

I didn’t know it before – this just shows all the music I can discover with your help (and I hope you find some of my song choices interesting) so please send me your music if you have a sec – no specs – anything goes – any style – any language – any artist (as you know I love music from Africa so if you can teach me more about musical styles on the African continent -I’d be grateful as well ). Of course it’s even better if it is your own song/lyrics – any musicians in the audience ? 🙂

You might be wondering why I came up with the music project thing.

Well I am used to starting projects – it’s just a good thing to do. Then this is also a way to explain more about all the things we do in the OpenCafe – how “open projects” start and are run and this might encourage you to start your own projects. Then … the music is actually an excuse – to just have fun, discuss things, and get closer to figuring out the meaning of life ….. or hm …. may be it’s not even important to explain at all – but these are some things I have come up with 🙂

Here is the first song suggestion from the new “Send a song page” sent by Dara, hope you like it:

‘Ai du’ by Ali Farka Toure

Click here to see all the films you find Ali Farka Toure songs in.

While I was listening – this is the video that came to mind:

Tracy Chapman & BB King The Thrill Has Gone

This photo compostition from Pihe takes me right back in to the world of Hungarian folk stories.

Postcard from Szentendre

Kokero says about Pihe’s work:
“I could never determine pihe’s art. He does everything, from HDR through artistic manipulations to sensitive portraits – and always surprises me.
I am only sure about one thing: that he really feels the camera. I think he is a devoted and erudite artist in love with photography and his camera, and I suspect, with ART in usual. His approach to the objects of his photography is very delicate – like if he was being watchful and careful not to meddle in the “system” of the compositions or souls of “things”. I can feel this respect even when he manipulates his works. I think he actually brings out the contents that are already there – but were hidden to our eyes. Thank you for showing the hidden meanings, pihe!”