The cultural TV channel ARTE is a partner of the 30th International Africa Festival and will be featured for the tenth time with its own ARTE cinema tent on the festival ground. Because of the double anniversary, ARTE will be presenting a “best of“ of its festival programme so far, including documentaries, among them portraits of great African musicians like “Mama Africa“ Miriam Makeba, Fatoumata Diawara and Youssou N’Dour, of whom many have already been guests at the Africa Festival.


Portrait of a South African jazz legend. He was born in one of the worst ghettos of Cape Town and learned to play the piano when he was just seven. In 1962 the musician who has become known as “Dollar Brand“ emigrated to the USA and just returned to South Africa after Nelson Mandela had been released from prison. His music unites the different African movements within jazz and remembers the musical traditions of Africa.
© “Abdullah Ibrahim: A Struggle for Love” © MvH - ArtDesign


The legendary “Mama Africa“ Miriam Makeba from South Africa has been a guest of the Africa Festival five times. Finnish director Mika Kaurismäki memorializes the icon of the South African struggle for freedom with this documentary. In 1959 she had to leave South Africa due to political reasons and just returned to her home after the end of the apartheid regime. The concert “A Tribute to Miriam Makeba“ was filmed at the Arica Festival in 2009 shortly after Makeba’s sudden death in 2008.
© Soul Power


He is the voice of the Senegal and the super star of African music. In 2010 Youssou N’Dour performed at the Africa Festival and enthused the audience with a large number of top musicians from Senegal and Jamaica and a mixture of traditional Senegalese mbalax, Carribbean reggae and Western pop. ARTE recorded the concert and will take the opportunity of the anniversary to show it again.
© Christian Weiß


A musical trip to Colombia to the accordionist, singer and composer Francisco “Pacho” Radas. He is an exceptional musician who held an accordion in his hands when he was just four years old, only to never let it go again. For years he has moved from village to village to play his music for a few centavos, he became a star, yet still lives in his corrugatediron hut. The film delves into the empire of cumbia, vallenato and son with the musician who was already 93 years old during shooting and died in 2003.
© ZDF/Felix von Muralt



In the Deutsche Welle documentary “Afro.Germany” journalist and TV host Jana Pareigis talks about her personal journey to feel at home in your own skin and how to deal with exclusion and racism. Because she considered her skin colour a flaw, too: “When I was a child I wanted to be white.” What’s it like to live with a dark skin colour in Germany and which things have to change? The host takes a trip to investigate and meets many other Afro-Germans like soccer player Gerald Asamoah or rapper Samy Deluxe.




The island of Zanzibar, which is located at the former spice trade route, is a place where the cultures of the Indian Ocean meet and mingle. The award-winning documentary gives the audience a deep insight into the local musical culture in which the varied history and the multiculturalism of the island are reflected. The taarab music, which is typical for the island, combines Arabic sounds, Latin American rhythms, Indian melodies and African drums.
© Les films du présent/EIKON/Philippe Gansier & Patrice Nezan




Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world. But when it comes to music, it is as rich as barely any other country and is considered the birthplace of jazz and blues. But this precious heritage is in danger: the radical Islamists in the North of the country ban dance and secular music. The movie by Lutz Gregor shows musicians who use their music to fight for peace and religious freedom in Mali: Touareg Ahmed Ag Kaedy, rapper Master Sumi and world music star Fatoumata Diawara.
© Axel Schneppat

08:30 pm Abdullah Ibrahim: A Struggle for Love
Documentary by Ciro Cappellari, ARTE/ZDF 2005, 58 mins.
09:30 pm Mama Africa
Documentary by Mika Kaurismäki, ARTE/ZDF 2011, 100 mins.


 08:30 pm Youssou N’Dour and the Super Etoile de Dakar
Recording from the Africa Festival, ARTE 2010, 52 mins.
 09:30 pm El Acordeón del Diablo
Documentary by Stefan Schwietert, Germany 2000, 83 mins.


 08:30 pm Afro.Germany:
Documentary by Jana Pareigis, Deutsche Welle 2017, 42 mins.
Afterwards panel discussion with Jana Pareigis
 09:30 pm Zanzibar Musical Club
Documentary by Patrice Nezan, ARTE/ZDF 2008, 84 mins.


 08:30 pm Mali Blues
Documentary by Lutz Gregor.
ARTE/ZDF 2016, 93 mins.