wedding

Blinding headlights streak by, headed South towards the river, towards Senegal. A cold wind blows. I'm waiting amongst the broken down husks of cars, intermittently illuminated to reveal oil stained sand, discarded pieces of automobiles, and plastic refuse dancing in the dark. My phone buzzes, a figure across the highway…

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message in a bottle

Hamadt Ka is one of Nouakchott's crop of modern singer/songwriters. He lives in Basra, between the town and the sea. The sand streets are quiet and the houses are staggered. Many of the residents are Pulaar and Wolof, having left the cramped transient quarters of Cinquieme to build in a…

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prayer call

A pentatonic Quran recitation, early morning in the mountain village of Timtendech (Adrar, Mauritania). morning prayer call

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in this case, we lute for ears

The four stringed African lute (previously) known by a variety of names across West Africa: Xalam in Wolof, Ngoni in Bambara, Tidnit in Hassaniya, Tehardine in Tamashek, Hoddu in Pulaar, and so on… The general construction and concept is the same. The resonator is made of wood from the Commiphora…

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Souls of Old Men

"In the center of Fedora, that gray stone metropolis, stands a metal building with a crystal globe in every room. Looking into each globe, you see a blue city, the model of a different Fedora. These are the forms the city could have taken if, for one reason or another,…

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Combination Mining Hub and Salsa Ball

In a rather desolate mountain range of the Northern Mauritanian desert is the town of Zouérate. Iron ore was discovered in the 1950s, and led to a categorical influx of inhabitants to make the mining operations. Mauritanians from the capital, foreign experts from other African countries, and a sizable French…

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