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Concours National de la Percussion, Conakry, Guinea|Guinee.

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Saturday, December 23 2006

2 years, 5 months, 1 day

Conakry, Guinea

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of ThisFabTrek.com, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Land Rover 49,232km

Trekking 333km

Ferry 803km

Train 150km

Other cars 26.065km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > africa > guinea > 20061223-conakry

National Percussion Competition.

National Percussion Competition Conakry.
Plays a djembée.
Djembe player.
Plays a djembée.
Calabash percussionist girl.
Beats up a calabash.
Percussionist.
All this is percussion.
African dancing girl with bell, Percussion Competition Conakry.
...and this.
junior djembe player, National Percussion Competition Conakry.
Steals the show.
Doundoun drum girl.
Doundoun drum.
Tam-tam drummer.
Tam tam drumming.
Sangban drummer, National Percussion Competition Conakry.
Sangban drumming.
Doundoun drumming girl.
Doundoun drumming.
Tam-tam, Wood percussion
Knock on wood.
African Costumes and hats.
Costumes and hats.

18th to 23rd of Dec. It is the National Percussion Competition (already 5th edition) that is keeping me here in Conakry. And nothing I have seen before possibly can compare to these energy laden performances.

In Guinea every street has, and always has had a band of djembée players, drummers and dancers. 5000 or more. And it is in the quartiers, where the selection process started, with young drummers and dancers striving for a ticket in one of the big 3 national ballets, the Ballets Africaine de Guinées, the Ballet National Djoliba and the Ensemble National de Percussion.

Starting from the 60s under the old communist regime, it was just these 3 well known ballets that had any international significance.

Many of the worlds best percussionists originate from the big 3, jumped off while touring abroad but they have continued to perform and teach drums and carriy high the Guinean name. And Guinea slowly became reputed to be the land of percussion in West Africa with Conakry nowadays being called the world capital of percussion by some.

Agence Culturelle Festi-Kaloum now has made it its goal to actively promote Guinea nationally and internationally as the country of percussion. All its efforts really culminate in the organisation of a national percussion competition and a percussion fair in Conakry.

There are two phases: one the regional selection where every province organises regional competitions. The best will be sent to the Concours National which is to be held in the capital of Conakry.

There it is 5 to 6 groups every night performing before a jury panel, 5 days of competition, a closing gala evening finishes off the week featuring special guests and the announcements of the winners.

Crowd, National Percussion Competition Conakry.
Cozy event.

Audience is 300 (of them 30 tourists) each of the 6 days, making the festival a very cozy event. It is for and by the drummers of Guinea who gather to find out who is the best amongst them.

And I am in the middle of it, in the front, face to face. Je suis très content.

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Mamady Keïta

Guinean master drummer, lives in California, founder of Tam Tam Mandingue drumming school which has branches in France, Japan, other countries, through his patronage gives this concours/festival a very special appreciation.

Mamady Keita, national Percussion Competition Conakry.
Mamady Keïta and wife.
Mamady Keita.
Mamady Keïta, king of djembée.
Mamady Keita speaks at the National Percussion Competition Conakry.
Mamady Keïta, addresses the crowd.

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Le prix de jeune talent goes to ...

Kid djembe drummer.
Junior and djembe.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
Mamady Keita congratulates boy with djembee, National Percussion Competition Conakry.
Mamady Keïta, congratulates.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.

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More Impressions from a great festival.

National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
Balafon, National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.

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and more.

National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
Dundun.
Dundun drumming girl.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
Djembe action.
Sweat and drums action.
African Drums.
Percussion Conakry.
Dundun girl smiles.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
National Percussion Competition Conakry.
Beautiful African hat.

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Child acrobats.

Child Acrobats Conakry.
Happy? Labour? Health risks?

What are the physical risks to that?

How hard do you have to train and how long to achieve that?

Does it hurt, training, repeating, performing?

Is it labour or not?

Have these kids chosen for themselves?

Or shall we say? But hey, - C'est l'Afrique.

This is Africa.

And this is one way to get out one day.

Child Acrobats, National Percussion Competition Conakry.
Child Acrobats, National Percussion Competition Conakry.
Child Acrobats Competition.
African Child Acrobats, Laughing faces.
Child Acrobats, National Percussion Competition Conakry.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > africa > guinea > 20061223-conakry

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