He reveals its streets and inhabitants through an ethnographic juxtaposition of his own photographs alongside a growing collection of archive images, newspaper clippings, appropriated photo albums, film footage, objects trouvés and a variety of edited written sources such as interviews, letters, diaries, notes, maps, news bulletins, journalistic articles and anthropological essays.
Vium has been working on his project since 2010. He explains: "Engaging with the porous interstitial 'spaces' that emerge at the intersection of nomadic and sedentary worlds, or desert and urban worlds, 'The Nomadic City' maps a particular form of emergent potentially emanating from these fringe landscapes. Using an analogue medium-format camera, a notebook and a handheld GPS, I have systematically mapped the city of Nouakchott aiming to provide a nomadic reading of urban ephemerality in a unique setting: a city which was constructed Ex nihilo in 1957 and now harbours more than a million inhabitants, the vast majority of whom have partaken in nomadic livelihoods now shattered by recurring droughts in the Sahara and Sahel region."
Through his work, Vium has collected a wealth of material, which he plans to turn into a book documenting the history of the city of Nouakchott through to its rapid development today. He hopes his observations will be used by historians, architects, planners and political decision-makers, when considering the needs of rapidly developing cities.