Timbuktu 2050 – Politics

A symbol of resilience in a challenging environment.

Extreme weather events, reduced resources and desertification led to population loss and from 2028 the ancient city of Timbuktu was in the hands of a post ISIS secular armed group. A wall of red sandstone was built around the city to keep the remaining population in and potential liberators out. A high water tower was erected at the main water supply in the center of the city as a symbol of control and isolation from the outside world. After two decades of hardship, the population re-took the city and eventually re-established Timbuktu as a centre of learning and trade. Although the coup was peaceful, there were echos of the taking down of the Berlin Wall in an earlier century as the wall and tower were symbolically dismantled and fragments of the stone were passed around as markers of support for the new governance.