Zirka – A Malian Journey | Festival Au Désert 2003

la-et-ms-robert-plant-mali-documentary-zirka-f-001In 2003, Robert Plant travelled to Mali to perform at the famed Festival Au Désert alongside Ali Farka Toure, Tinariwen and many others. Zirka is an 8 part, mostly self-shot documentary by Robert chronicling his experiences.

“It was a journey of revelation — one of the most illuminating and humbling experiences of my life,” Plant tells Rolling Stone. While he was there, Plant and his crew filmed their experience. Now, a decade later, Plant is releasing the documentary of the trip in an eight episode series on YouTube called Zirka.

The first episode follows Plant on his travels as he crosses the Malian terrain. He starts in the city, watching a raucous late night street dance. Then he crosses over into the countryside, stopping at what looks like a temple that has a shrine built from abandoned automatic rifles. Finally, he ends up deep in desert, sitting around a bonfire singing Ben E. King with African blues superstar Ali Farka Touré.

Plant also said the visit to Mali was “a journey that took us from the scurry and bustle of our world into the homeland of the Tuareg, the Sahel of Mali, Timbuctu and north to Essakane; a journey that could only reinforce the power and the great gift of music across and between cultures. Sharing outside of language. A world where, for awhile at least, borders, boundaries and barriers once again fell away … as it was long ago.”

Robert Plant Documents His Time in Mali:











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