Touba / New York is an examination of the Murid Brotherhood, a Sufi Muslim movement dedicated to the promotion of peace. The word Mouride in Arabic means “one who desires,” and the Mourides are one of the fastest growing religious movement in West Africa.
Once a year, Sheik Mourtada Mbaké, the youngest son of Amadou Bamba and the spiritual leader of the Mourides, travels to Harlem. The growing community of Senegalese expatriates gather around a red-brick building named the House of Islam on 137th Street and Edgecombe Avenue. They come to pay homage to the Sheik and receive his blessing. The week-long celebration begins on July 21 and ends on July 28, Amadou Bamba Day, with a huge parade down 116th street, through Little Senegal. The overwhelming majority of the men and women in this parade were originally from Touba (pronounced ta-wa-ba), the second largest city in Senegal and the location of Bamba’s sacred burial place.
This book grew out of the artist Peter Bogardus’ encounters and travels with descendants of Sheik Bamba and his foremost student, Ibra Fall. Text is printed from woodcuts cut by Peter Bogardus after calligraphy by Sherif Fall and Shaykh Ndiguel Fall. Illustrations include 35 photogravures by Bogardus.