Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mud Mosques of Mali

Mud Mosques of Mali - A photographic survey of 515 mosques of the Niger Inner Delta, an area which played a significant role in the early expansion of Islam into West Africa.

The photographs are in alphabetical order by location and include thumbnails available for quick viewing.

From the site:

As a photography student, traveling by bicycle for several months in 1996 and 1997 through the inlands of Mali, I was working on a series of portraits. On my way, the beauty of small adobe mosques in remote villages astonished me as they revealed themselves as the living tissue of an age-old architecture.

Back in Europe, I found that this vernacular architecture is largely un-documented. Although the highlights of this 'Sudanese' style are cherished by cultural actors such as UNESCO as well as by international book editors and documentary makers, no one seems to bother about unnamed village mosques. Not even tourists, who simply step over them en route to 'discovering' Djenné and Timbuktu.

So I decided to make an extensive photographic survey of the mosques of the Niger Inner Delta. This area harbors a multitude of village mosques -- there are close to 2300 villages -- in a wide variety of styles.

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