‘Touba’ Photographs Give Viewers Glimpse of an Amazing Pilgrimage

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We come across a barrage of images everyday, but rarely do we see things without the media spin. Director and cinematographer Scott Duncan hopes to cut the divisiveness with his new photography exhibition opening tomorrow (July 31st) at Picture Farm Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The photographs are from Touba, a 2013 documentary about the annual Grand Magaal pilgrimage of Sufi Muslims to the holy city of Touba in central Senegal. The pilgrims you see in the film are Mourides, followers of the Senegalese religious leader Cheikh Amadou Bamba, who non-violently resisted Muslim persecution under French colonial rule.

Filmmaker and producer Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi directed Touba, which won the award for best cinematography at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. The duo spent years traveling to Senegal before they began filming. “Since my first visit, I have returned to Touba seven times. I befriended the Mouride leadership and gained their trust, and through them, I was honored with unprecedented access to capture the Grand Magaal as a true insider. With this access, I was able to create intimate portraiture of the people of Touba,” says Duncan.

You can catch a special screening of Touba at the exhibition opening on Thursday, July 31st 6pm-9pm at Picture Farm.

Touba

Magal Touba

Magal Touba

Touba 5

Photos via Touba Film