333 Saints: A Life of Scholarship Under Threat

16 July 2012

The photographs in the following video were taken in 2007 in the region of Timbuktu, Mali, a landlocked country in West Africa. At that time, Mali was one of Africa’s most stable democracies. Timbuktu had regained its ancient fame as a center of Islamic scholarship. Political chaos has now over-taken the north and south of Mali. Timbuktu is under Shariah law, controlled by rebel groups connected to al-Qaeda. Not only are thousands of ancient manuscripts and holy sites under threat, but an ancient scholarly culture….

The objective of this video and its corresponding website is to provide cultural context to the current conflict in the north of Mali, with a focus on Timbuktu. To do so, it uses a photographic series that presents an in-depth view of Timbuktu’s tradition of Islamic scholarship, an ancient form of learning influenced by Sufism and characterized by tolerance, plurality, and a deep joy in and respect for learning.
This video calls for religious freedom and cultural self-determination for the people of Timbuktu, Mali.


Text and photography by Alexandra Huddleston
Main portfolio site: http://www.alexandrahuddleston.com
New blog/ newsletter site: http://electiveaffinitiesphoto.wordpress.com/
New Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/alexhuddle

Recording and sound editing by Brian Stillman

  • Comments: 0
  • Comments

    1. Quel désastre que de voir une partie de notre patrimoine historique détruit par des barbares. La démolition des mausolées de Tombouctou constituent un crime indescriptible, partant ses auteurs méritent d’être condamnés à la hauteur de leur barbarie.

    2. Late Latino’s avatar
      Late Latino 19/09/2013 #

      It`s a shame.
      Late Latino

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