Week 3 Recovery Images: The Timbuktu Wells where the Tuareg climb down the hand carved staircases to the muddy waters at the bottom of the well. Shot in December 1993 while crossing the Sahara desert north to south.
One of the oldest libraries in Timbuktu (image made in 1994) cared for by Mr. Ahmend Saloum Boularaf, who has been caring for ancient documents in Timbuktu for years.
Mr. Boularaf was responsible for many of the most precious books from his grandfather’s collection in the Centre des Recheres Ahhmed Baba (CEDRAB) and it was known at that time to be the most impressive private collection in Timbuktu. It covers topics from science to medicine, history, theology grammar, geography. Across Timbuktu , in cupboards, rusting chests, private collections and libraries, tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of manuscripts bear witness to this legendary city’s remarkable intellectual history.
This past weekend Islamist insurgents retreating from Timbuktu, set fire to two libraries containing thousands of priceless historic manuscripts (The manuscripts were reportedly held in two separate locations: an ageing library (I suspect this to be Mr. Boularaf’s) and the new South African-funded research centre, the Ahmad Babu Institute, less than a mile away. Completed in 2009 and named after a 17th-century Timbuktu scholar, the centre used state-of-the-art techniques to study and conserve the crumbling scrolls. ) It turns out that most of the manuscripts had already been smuggled into hiding. The people of Timbuktu have long been used to hiding their precious books and the curators of the South African centred aware of the danger the library might be in had already removed most of the books in their care.
Week 2 Recovery Images: Champagne Sparkles is a member of the Cheesecake Burlesque Revue and this image is part of the Behind the Tease Series I worked on in 2008.
As part of a series of recovering old photos I am going back through the files to rediscover some old favourites and hopefully uncover some new jewels. This image from East Timor was published in Life magazine in 1998.
Remnants XII Firewood for the Winter
With the demise of Kodak, I may not be able to get any more 8x10 transparency and so the documentation of Vancouver Island in large format may come to an end this winter. Have to come with another way to do this I imagine.
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