MC Solaar

Phase One

SXSW is an interesting place to see Touba, which won a jury prize for cinematography at the film festival this week. I almost feel bad for thinking of the event in religious terms recently while spotlighting the Alamo Drafthouse as a place of worship many of us make a “pilgrimage” to at least once a year. Touba is in fact about the annual journey known as the Grand Magaal, which brings millions to the titular sacred city in Senegal for three days of thanksgiving. These legitimate pilgrims are Mourides, followers of an order of Sufism begun in the late 19th century by Amadou Bamba, a leader of Gandhi-like significance for his peaceful resistance against French colonial rule. Bamba also founded Touba as a holy site following a vision experienced there, and it’s grown to become a prominent urban center in Africa and the second largest city in the nation. It’s especially packed during the Grand Magaal, of course, with devout outsiders paying respects at Bamba’s resting place, meeting with the current leader (caliph) to receive blessing and, of course, attending prayer at the Grand Mosque.

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published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015

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