Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Forgive the leaning format!
Cannot seem to master my friend David's computer, but nevertheless need to put this picture up: it is from an exhibition of Djenne architecture at the RIBA in London. Here is the introductory speal:
'Nestled in a weave of gentle waterways, Djenne was once a major centre of West African trade and Islamic scholarship. The town was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1988. Its unique architecture bears testament to a glorious past and today it is a celebrated part of modern Malian identity. Djenne’s masons continue to enjoy a reputation as Africa’s finest builders.'
The curator and photographer is Trevor H.J.Marchand, a social anthropologist at SOAS as well as an architect, whose book'The Masons of Djenne'(Indiana University Press) describes his study time in Djenne when he signed up as a mason's apprentice. I am devouring this book this afternoon in a cozy West London flat, the home of Jeremy and David, the latter my most frequent commentator on this blog.
I am far from Djenne but this book transports me right back: I know many of the people he mentions in these pages. I just missed him- he left in 2005 just as I arrived...And just now there is building going on on the new land even in my absence, when I get back in just over a month I will have a house to live in for the first time, and will no longer have to live in a hotel room.


Blogger Unknown said...

Have been diligently reading your blog for a couple of years now. I turn to it whenever I am in need of a dose of adventure and escapism away from my mundane existence here in New York City.
Thanks so much for chronicling your interesting life! I look forward to each new post.
Curious. Do you still plan to sell Bogolan on the Mali Mali site? Cheers- S.

4:38 AM  
Blogger misplacedperson said...

I can say from experience that moving into your own house after years spent in a hotel room (or in my case a succession of them) will be heaven!

9:12 AM  
Blogger David said...

dear Stephen
it is impossible to have a mundane existance in New York City, and I am sure your life must be very exciting!
anyway how nice of you to keep up with my adventures, thank you!

and hello again misplaced person! yes indeed, I can't wait to have my own things around me and start living a 'normal life', if such a thing is possible in Djenne.

12:54 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Oh no! I am writing on David's computer and the last comment is mine, not David's!

12:56 PM  

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