Reports from Sahara. Transitions and contradictions in (re)adapted modernity: the case of Cansado-Zouerate, Mauritania

Filippo De Dominicis


The article deals with an off-radar planning experience led across the Saharan desert during the Sixties. Between 1959 and 1965 MIFERMA, the National Mining Company of Mauritania, displaced more than 10000 people in the middle of the Sahara to support its industrial growth. Stressing the principles of modern urbanism and coping with extreme environmental conditions, the French planners in charge fulfilled MIFERMA’s ambition to accommodate 10000 African workers and European managers in two new-towns - Cansado, the seaport settlement, and Zouerate, the inland one - linked by a 700 kilometres railway laid across the desert.

De Dominicis, F. “Reports from Sahara. Transitions and contraddictions in Afro-European modernities: the case of Cansado-Zouearate, Mauritania.” Edited by V. D’Auria and De Meulder B. Appropriate(d) Modernism? (CLARA Architecture / Research journal) 4 (2017).

  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookie Policy