Skip to main content
Sahara: A Thousand Paths Into the Future

Sahara: A Thousand Paths Into the Future

Current price: $30.95
Publication Date: February 13th, 2024
Sternberg Press
The MIT Press Bookstore
2 on hand, as of Apr 16 5:20pm
On Our Shelves Now


An anthology that accompanies Culturescapes 2023 Sahara, the 17th edition of the Swiss multidisciplinary festival.

Sahara: A Thousand Paths Into the Future is devoted to the ideas, images, poetics, politics, fictions, and movements of this vast desert and its myriad voices. Focused on the cultural productions, lines of political and aesthetic thought, and multiple epistemologies and cosmologies of the Sahara, and the accompanying Sahel, this book understands the region as both an ancient space of connection and circulation—from its northern to southern shores, its dunes and volcanic mountains, to its lusher savannahs—and as a contemporary site of exchange between strikingly singular societies and communities on all sides of the desert, that aspect of the Sahara most often imaged and imagined. If the Sahara is habitually narrated as a space of radical heat and intense light, and of barren-like emptiness, this anthology approaches the region with a decolonial lens that privileges the Saharan communities and nonhuman entities who live within all aspects of its circadian rhythms, including the constructive opacity of the desert night.

The violence of enlightenment and its imperialisms have often been practiced under the glare of some narcotic sun—the imaginaries of coloniality still do—yet in the desert, it was the elaborating darkness of its night skies, with their spectral constellations, that often directed caravans on their historical routes. They still do. Thus the thinkers, artists, poets, choreographers, composers, activists, elders, novelists, historians, and translators whose voices and sensibilities score and structure this anthology create a more full-spectrum and polyphonic sense of what the Sahara means, in all its waves and forms. Sahara: A Thousand Paths Into the Future indicates a prismatic space of cultures, ecologies, knowledges, conflicts, languages, lights, and relations. That is, of numerous pasts and possible futures.

Moussa Ag Assarid, Badi, Tewa Barnosa, Sam Berkson, Serge Aimé Coulibaly, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Binta Diaw, Mustafa El-Kattab, Rahima Gambo, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Monique Ilboudo, Asmaa Jama, Maryam Kazeem, Benaouda Lebdai, Nisrine Mbarki, Achille Mbembe, Yara Mekawei, Radouan Mriziga, Dorothée Munyaneza, Amy Niang, Temitayo Ogunbiyi, Ben Okri, Beya Othmani, Felwine Sarr, Esther Severi, Jonas Staal, Mohamed Sulaiman, Wole Talabi

Copublished with Culturescapes

About the Author

Kateryna Botanova is a Basel-based cultural critic, curator, and writer. She co-curates a multidisciplinary biennial Culturescapes and co-edits its anthologies. She researches and writes on decoloniality and artistic practices in Eastern Europe and the Global South.

Yarri Kamara is a writer, translator, and policy researcher. She has spent the bulk of her life in West and East African countries. She is a member of UNESCO's 2005 Convention Expert Facility that provides cultural policy support to developing countries.

Quinn Latimer is a writer and editor. She was editor-in-chief of publications for documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel, and she is the editor or co-editor of numerous critical anthologies and artist catalogues.