World Affairs Discussion on Tragedy in Timbuktu

Presenter:  Alexandra Huddleston and Ambassador Vicki HuddlestonHuddlestons PHOTOS #2

Topic:  The Tragedy of Timbuktu –  A Discussion about a Culture in Jeopardy

Location:  Santa Fe Woman’s Club, 1616 Old Pecos Trail

Cost: $15 CIR Members and $20 Nonmembers & Guests

Attendance limited: Advance reservations required; please reserve by Tuesday, September 24 at noon.

To make reservcations for this event, call the CIR Office: (505) 982-4931 or register online below.

Join CIR members and guests at this private talk and reception to honor Alexandra Huddleston’s important work documenting the culture of Timbuktu and Ambassador Vicki Huddleston’s insightful reflections about Mali.

Documentary photographer, Alexandra Huddleston, lived in Timbuktu for a year photographing the religious and cultural life of the famous city, including its Koranic schools and majlis.   She knows Mali at a grassroots level having lived with local families and traveled by bus, car, and pirogue throughout the country.


Vicki Huddleston was the American Ambassador to Mali when Algerian religious militants first entered the northern reaches of the Sahara.  She knows the key players and the decisions that led to Timbuktu being overrun by Jihadist.


Their diverse experience provide a rich mosaic of Malian culture, politics and the nexus of radical Islam, terror, and crime.

Alexandra Huddleston is an American photographer who was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and grew up in the Washington, DC area and in West Africa.  She holds a BA from Stanford University and an MS in broadcast journalism from Columbia University. Her work has been published in the New York Times, Zeit Magazine, and National Geographic Explorer, and exhibited in group and solo shows worldwide.  Among other honors, she has received a Fulbright Grant for her photographic work. Her prints are in the permanent collection of the US Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division and the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art Eliot Elisofon Photo Archives.  In 2012 Huddleston published the collaborative artists’ book Lost Things under her own imprint, The Kyoudai Press. 333 Saints: a Life of Scholarship in Timbuktu* is her second book.  Copies of her book will be available for purchase at this event.

About 333 Saints: a Life of Scholarship in Timbuktu* is a photographic book in English and French by Fulbright Scholar Alexandra Huddleston.  It tells a story of discovery, unfolding a rich and beautiful African intellectual culture that remains largely unknown in the West.  The book is about a city that has built its identity around a culture of scholarship and a love of books and learning.

Timbuktu: at the edge of the vast Sahara Desert, was little known in the West–except as a byword for the remote and exotic–until militant Islamist groups destroyed many of its religious shrines and ancient manuscripts in 2012.  This hauntingly beautiful book captures  a way of life and learning shortly before the Islamists overran the city.   Many of the photos depict  a moment in time now almost gone, fading into history.  They show a culture of moderate, tolerant Islam that has been under direct attack by Salafist radicalism and Westernizing influences.

More information available at the following websites:

To make reservations for this event, call the CIR Office: (505) 982-4931 or register online below.