caravanas saharianas (announcement) by Carlos Perez Marin

La semana que viene hablaremos de las caravanas del desierto del Sáhara, de su importancia a lo largo de la historia (para África y para Europa), del estado actual de las rutas caravaneras y de los nómadas que aún las recorren, del futuro de estas vías de comunicación (tanto materiales como inmateriales)...

Será el viernes 12 de enero a las 17h30, en el aula nº10 del campus de la Universidad de Granada en Ceuta, dentro del programa del Aula Permanente de Formación Abierta. El acceso será libre.

beyond qafila thania by Carlos Perez Marin

We are thrilled to announce our new research: BEYOND QAFILA THANIA

Beyond Qafila Thania brings together researchers from Sudan, Morocco, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands ( Amado Alfadni, Olì Bonzanigo, M'barek Bouhchichi, Pau Cata, Laila Hida, Francesca Masoero, Carlos Perez Marin, Leire Vergara and Heidi Vogels) researching in architecture, sociology and the visual arts actively approaching the cultural, social and geopolitical space of the Sahara desert, tracing back the stories of the old caravans, learning about its influence in current day cultures and societies.

Beyond Qafila Thania facilitates an inspiring frame to research on topics such as contemporary nomad culture and architecture, current immigration routes, history of slave trade and knowledge exchange and mobility within the Mediterranean, Sahel and West Africa.

Beyond Qafila Thania will take place from the 22nd October to the 24th November in the provinces of Zagora, Tata and Guelmim in Morocco. It develops through different stages, including research and archiving, site visits, interviews, public events, a nomadic residency in the desert, round tables and a final exhibition.

Beyond Qafila Thania is a project develop by CeRCCa and Marsad Drâa through Platform Harakat, Project QAFILA and Qanat in the framework of Kibrit.

almoravid city (?), rissani (morocco) by Carlos Perez Marin

When I made the caravan between Tissardmine and M'hamid, I passed near a hill with a stone wall that remind me the old city of Tazagourt, in Zagora, a city used by the Almoravid army in the 12th century. Some weeks later I asked Mohamed Boussalh, head of CERKAS in Ourrzazate, and he told me that fortification in front of Taouz, was also an Almoravid city.


Now I have visited it and there are some strange things. There is no building outside the walls and overall, there is no ceramics... Was it really a city or just a permanent camp for the army?

Anyway, it is sure this was a very important point to control the caravan routes, the ones coming from Algeria and M'hamid El Ghizlane (which means from Mali) to Sijilmasa.

Caravanes routes:

caravane routes by Carlos Perez Marin

During several weeks, we have been travelling virtually searching places (some of them do not exist anymore hidden under the sand) that were/are used by caravans in their ways from north to south and from west to east, through the Sahara desert.

Our research group on caravans has done this Google Maps file where you will find a superposition of routes appeared in several books and papers (information collected by Amado Alfadni, Pau Cata, Eleonora Castagnone and Carlos Perez Marin).






We will complet the map once we get more information

qafila thania routes by Carlos Perez Marin

We are working on the next caravan, Qafila Thania, in the framework of Project Qafila. After Qafila Oula we are studying three possible routes for this new experience:

Tissardmine-Figuig: 324 km, 15 days
M'hamid-Agdz: 194 km, 10 days
M'hamid-Tighmert: 464 km, 21 days

These routes were used by caravans arriving from Mali and Mauritania in theirs ways to Marrakech and/or Fez.

To be continued

caravans researches by Carlos Perez Marin

We could say we just started a research project on caravans. In fact we just agreed to share the information we have been collecting during our researches, it doesn't matter if they have been made by visual artists, curators, sociologistes or architects, or if they concern Morocco, Mali or Sudan. On the contrary, we think it is even better to have several approches from different disciplines. Maybe we will continue to work by our own (but with more information), perhaps some of us will develop some concret projects, let's see what happens...

Thanks to Amado Alfadni, Olì Bonzanigo, M'barek Bouhchichi, Eleonora Castagnone, Pau Cata and Carlos Perez Marin for sharing your work and for trusting in this proposition.

This is the first transdisciplinary research group, others will come with students from the INBA (Tetouan), ESAV (Marrakech), FST (Errachidia), ESMAB (Fez), so feel free to propose one.