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Fatoumata Diawara's Stirring Reminder Of The Global Migrant Crisis

Mar 7, 2018

The latest video from Malian singer and guitarist Fatoumata Diawara, for the song "Nterini," opens with a simple but stark reminder: "In a world of seven billion people, one billion are migrants." The Pew Research Center puts the number at a quarter of a billion — a figure that's still shockingly high.

"My love has gone far away and may never come back," Diawara sings. "He has left his family and friends behind and gone away / He may never come back / What am I to do? He was my friend and my confidant."

The video, directed by the Ethiopian artist Aïda Muluneh, follows a young man as he crosses the desert, a single bag of belongings slung over his shoulder. Though he's left behind a woman he loves and his family, he's gone in search of a better life. By the end, his family receives news of his journey — it isn't good. It's a subtle, affecting reminder of the global migration crisis.

"Nterini," which means "My Love/Confidant," is from Diawara's just-announced album FENFO, due out May 18 on Shanachie. It's her followup to 2011's debut full-length Fatou.

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