The nomadic lifestyle in the Sahara is the perfect example for simplicity.

In the Sahara things are basically basic: There is not a lot of sense in bulk, increasingly fragile modern stuff that is made to satisfy the desire to buy, but not to last. Maybe you should keep nomads in mind when go shopping next time. Ask yourself: What would somebody buy who lives subjectively gazillion miles away from the next customer care center?

Nomads have developed not only a lifestyle of living as basic as their desert surrounding - they have also developed a mindset that celebrates vastness which we might call «emptiness».

«I have a house now», says Halal Aziz, «…but I live like in a nomad’s tent.» What he means is: there is no bulky television; there are no fancy kitchen utilities. His house looks empty, in the mere sense of it - to him it’s boiled down to necessity but it celebrates a certain vastness. The less is more principle in its perfect application.

When we entered the Sahara with our cars we got funny looks. On one hand the two pickups were as good as new and on the other hand electronics dominated the motor.

Saharan people swear on old cars instead: Not a finicky part that can’t be fixed by a single nomad with basic tools, not one indicator of electronics, that make the inner workings of the machine unintelligible. But instead there are improvised parts where time has destroyed the original. Some of the cars seem to have been 3 individual cars once - with doors in different colors, wheels of different size.

It’s ironic a car like the ones we just described would not be allowed on our neat and clean European streets - whereas people of the Sahara trust those old machines to get safely across the dangerous and vast desert distances.

Specialization is a great thing in terms of advancement of individual goods - but on the other hand these objects get detached from individuals, fragile and depending on fordist surrounding, where few specialists care about very specific problems and nothing more. The Saharan lifestyle is the contrary: the few things available are fixable in any way by everybody who might get lost with them in the desert. It’s a beautiful thought for us, so far away from dependence on our own capability - but normality and survival for the Sahrawi people.

There might be a little moment of self contemplation: Why not think basic but discover the complexity within things instead of wishing for the next, the latest, the newest shiny thing. It might give you peace of mind. Like the desert (until you get lost).

Event date