News Brief

Talented British-Gambian Photographer Khadija Saye Was Among the Victims of the Grenfell Tower Fire

This video chronicles the flourishing career of Khadija Saye, a 24-year-old photographer who died in the Grenfell Tower Fire.

DIAPORA—Since last Wednesday, we've been learning the stories behind the lives lost in the devastating fire that burned down Grenfell Tower in West London. Among the 79 victims that are dead or presumed dead was Khadija Saye—a 24-year-old British-Gambian photographer whose career was on the cusp of flourishing.


Saye was trapped on the 20th floor, in the apartment she shares with her mother when the fire started. As it progressed, she posted heartbreaking Facebook statuses asking her friends and families for their prayers.

In a cruel twist of fate, the artist died as she was beginning to reap the fruits of her hard work. Her latest collection, "Dwelling: in this space we breathe," a series of photographs exploring traditional Gambian spiritual practices, was on display at the 57th Venice Bienniale.

“In the last few weeks she had been invited to show in all kinds of serious galleries, her dreams were actually beginning to manifest themselves in the most exciting way," her mentor Nicola Green told the Guardian.

For more on her incredible story, watch the Channel 4 News tribute below.

In the many efforts to lend support to those impacted from this tragedy, a charity single featuring Stormzy, Emili Sandé, and Rita Ora, among others, will be released on Wednesday. 

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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