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It is after reading these few lines from Arthur Rimbaud’s Correspondence that I decided to dive into the secrets of this archipelago of the Indian Ocean. «Zanj el Barr », literally ‘the coastline of black men’, the heart of the Swahili civilization is the fruit of multiple influences that have been mixed over the centuries. Even though the splendors of former colonial powers only remain memories, Zanzibar has always stood at the cross-roads of civilizations, attracting travelers, merchants, sailors and explorers from all over the world. Today, Stone Town is surely the part of the island that attracts and fascinates the most: a unique architecture, colorful and fragrant markets, narrow streets dotted with surprises and a welcoming and mixed population.

It is on a heavy summer day that I start exploring this legendary city: the thick air seemed to be compressed between the stone walls. The scents of cinnamon and clove, emanating from the spice stalls, add a note of lightness to this dense atmosphere. Walking through these arteries is comparable to being wrapped in a muffled and melancholic murmur. I could close my eyes and feel like I am back on the island of my childhood, Reunion Island. Visually though, it is very different. So atypical, so tortuous, so striking. At every intersection, I feel this mixture of emotion that I experienced many years ago in a maze». I thought to myself

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC | Through The Lens