Everything Will Be OK ( Sahara)
Once City of Libraries. (Walking Quickly Across the Sahara)
Idea Capital Travel Grant Winner
Jason Kofke will travel to Mauritania, Africa and trek through the Sahara desert along a medieval-era trade route. Kofke will visit three villages remaining since medieval time: Chinguetti, Tergit, and Mhairet. Within these villages, libraries of manuscripts, texts, and images have been collected from passing travelers over the past 1000 years. In the recent century, climate change and the inevitable encroachment of desert sands threaten to bury these villages and their libraries. Each decade that passes witnesses the disappearance of artifacts and images and the knowledge that these media communicate. Kofke will document images and texts of manuscripts preserved in the village libraries via Polaroid, medium format, and 8mm movie film as well as silverpoint sketches. Using basic analog materials, Kofke will respond to the history, culture, and environment of Mauritania. This project will culminate in a new exhibition of drawings, prints, photographs, and 8mm film that attempts to convey a contemporary experience of the Sahara.