Grant TypeFejos Postdoctoral Fellowship
Institutional AffiliationAarhus U.
Grant numberGr. 10172
Approve DateSeptember 15, 2021
Project TitleVium, Christian (Aarhus U.) Tales of the Nomadic City
‘Tales of the Nomadic City’ is a poetic feature-length experimental documentary about one of the fastest growing, yet least known, capital cities in the world: Nouakchott in Mauritania. It explores the growth of an unlikely sedentary, urban centre constructed ex-nihilo in 1957, now harboring more than a million inhabitants, the majority of whom have partaken in nomadic livelihoods reconfigured by recurring droughts in the Sahara and Sahel region. Part of a larger project that spans more than 15 years of ongoing research, the film aims to rewrite the history of the city from its margins. Through a multimodal, collaborative approach, it opens up to an immersive rendition of the city as a living archive of memories and aspirations entangled in the everyday tactics of survival in a nomad-sedentary continuum at the intersection of desert and city. ‘Tales of the Nomadic City’ posits the urban as a heterogenous laboratory of invention, interweaving three individual life stories through a manuscript based on the recordings and written in collaboration with a local poet and a local journalist. Bringing together multiple narratives and vernacular archives with colonial footage, official archives, and film material recorded since 2001, the film represents a kaleidoscopic urban epos in which the involved people and their individual stories figure the urban in its human form.