© Chloé Chester
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Wandering around the Goutte d’Or area gives you the chance to explore the diversity of African cultures living side by side in épiceries and improvised market stalls. At the heart of this micro-continent, the Saraaba is an activist music bar that supports the promotion and cross-pollination of world cultures through music, art and cinema. The Senegalese owner hosts regular concerts that put the talents and traditions of the African diaspora in Paris on show, along with other world music. Discover kora virtuosos, Mandinka singers, and musicians who fuse mbalax, jazz, funk, salsa and reggae. Check out the jam session every Tuesday at 9.30 p.m.
The walls of Saraaba are covered in the works of artists inspired by questions of cultural identity, like the French-Moroccan painter Anita Ben Mohammed and Japanese-Brazilian artist Julia Keiko. A serious cultural agitator in the area, the bar screens documentaries and arthouse films on Wednesdays, along with readings of traditional stories and international cultural debates. There are workshops, too: take a darbouka class on Tuesday, djembe on Wednesday and theatre on Thursday (or Saturday 3–4.30 p.m.). A true community centre, the Saraaba serves African and Asian beer and delicious exotic meals at low prices. A seriously good spot for dishes as far flung as jambalaya (Louisiana), yassa and thiebou dieune (Senegal), bobotie (South Africa), mafé (Mali), matapa (Mozambique) and plenty more culinary surprises. Bon voyage as you eat your way around the map!
Saraaba 19 rue de la Goutte d'Or