Timbuktu is actually quite a real place. It exists, somewhere in the west of Africa. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its current population being around thirty thousand people. Today it is a tourist center, but in spite of that also yet another impoverished African city… while in the middle ages it used to be an important university center.
But north of Africa Timbuktu becomes something else, it becomes a quite surreal place, out of reach of the ordinary, it becomes an imaginary place. TIM-BUK-TU. It represents the distant, the magic, the mystic. Like theater, Timbuktu becomes a place for imagination, open to interpretation.
Unlike America, the idea of Timbuktu is miles away from the actual Timbuktu, the image of Timbuktu is not the real Timbuktu. And although they share the same name, the only thing that Timbuktu and TIM-BUK-TU have in common is the fact that they are both located in the middle of nowhere, in the heart of a land of heat and sand.