Villages of West Africa

Thursday, November 15, 3pm
Bellas Artes, Hernandes Macias #75
$100 ($50 Literary Sala members)

San Miguel Literary Sala Presents: Villages of West Africa: An Intimate Journey Across Time

Complimentary Wine Reception

Village of West Africa Photo Exhibition and Slide Presentation

By Carole Schor and Susan Page

Architects Steven and Cathi House may be best know for the distinctive and highly acclaimed homes they build in San Miguel and elsewhere. But their award-winning photographs of their extensive travels are just as breathtaking as their homes, and just as highly acclaimed.
We in San Miguel have an unusual opportunity to see a photo exhibition and slide lecture of the House’s journey to the little-known, colorful and exotic villages of West Africa. In a special Literary Sala event, we will not only see the photos of these unusual communities, we will also hear the Houses describe their experiences. The lyrical and poetic descriptions in their book, Villages of West Africa, are as compelling as their dramatic photographs. We will both see and hear them describe the extraordinary beauty of the people, the land, the villages, family life markets, and traditional architecture.

An ancient land of stark contrasts, West Africa is home to the Sahara Desert, Timbuktu, fabled places at the edge of the world, camel caravans traversing boundless sand dunes in searing heat. West Africa is also home to the Niger River, third largest river in Africa. As Cathi told us, “Life unfolds along its shores in small villages with beautiful mosques, humble homes, women washing, children playing. Long narrow boats carry wares, harvests, animals, passengers, and fish to the great markets that link these isolated places into one community, one humanity.”

The photography is jaw-dropingly stunning, and the excitement and fascinating discoveries the Houses convey in their presentation promise to leave us talking about this event for a long time to come. Much more than a travel log, it is a visual feast and an introduction, not only to these remote, rarely visited villages, but also to the House’s unique and inspiring vision. As architects, professional photographers, and poets, they present a memorable program.

The Houses are the authors of three books including Mediterranean Villages and Houses in the Sun. Dedicated to their own continuing education through travel, Cathi and Steven acknowledge the profound influence their exposure to cultures around the world has had on their professional work. “We are contemporary California and Mexico architects,” says Cathi, “and our travels to remote villages around the world continue to be our prime source of our continuing education, inspiration and personal growth, renewing our work, our visions, ourselves, allowing us to let go of preconceptions, see the world with clear eyes, and search beyond the limits of our own imagination. We don’t really think in terms such as ‘style.’ We learn from what we experience and bring the essence into our work. It never affects the ‘look’ of our work, but always the ‘soul’ of it.

Join us for a Literary Sala Special Event that is both a photo exhibition and a slide presentation on Thursday, November 15. Note the unusual time of 3:00 PM and the location: the Miguel Malo auditorium in Bellas Artes. Admission at the door is $100 pesos, $50 pesos for Literary Sala members.

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