SCOTT, Anderson. Tama-Re.

(Atlanta, GA): Fall Line Press, 2015.  First edition.  Elephant folio.  Portfolio of eight images of the abandoned Nuwaubian compound, Tama-Re, an Egyptian-themed “city” in rural Putnam County, Georgia.  A project by Dwight D. York  also known as Malachi Z. York, Issa Al Haadi Al Mahdi, Dr. York, et alii, who was an American musician and writer who is known as the founding leader of various religious/political groups, including most notably the cult Nuwaubian movement.  York began his ministry in the late 1960s. In 1967 he was preaching to the “Ansaaru Allah” (viz. African Americans) in Brooklyn, New York, during the period of the Black Power movement. He founded numerous orders under various names during the 1970s and 1980s. These were at first based on pseudo-Islamic themes and Judaism (Nubian Islamic Hebrews). Later he developed a theme derived from “Ancient Egypt,” mixing ideas taken from black nationalism, cryptozoological and UFO religions, and popular conspiracy theory. He last called his group the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, or Nuwabians were mainly centred around Sullivan County and Brooklyn, in early 1993 they moved to Putnam County where they had purchased a 476 acre plot near Eatonton where they commenced to build an Egyptian-themed set of buildings and monuments including two pyramids.  The organization began to hold festivals on the property which lead, In 1999, to a lawsuit being filed attempting to enforce county zoning restrictions and prevent the Nuwaubians from using the property for anything other than residential and agricultural purposes. This led to a drawn-out, bitter tug of war between the Nuwaubians and the county authorities. 

In 2001, the Religious Movements Homepage Project at the University of Virginia reported on Tama-Re:Armed guards stand at the entrance to Tama-Re. Approximately 100 Nuwaubians live within 15 double-wide trailers within this complex. There are approximately another 400 more Nuwaubians within Putnam County (population 14,000). At this current complex the Nuwaubians have constructed an Egyptian-style village with two pyramids, obelisks, and statues of Egyptian leaders. The two pyramids are distinct in appearance and in usage. There is a gold pyramid that serves as a trade center. Within this pyramid one can find a bookstore and a clothing store. The other pyramid is painted black with colorful Egyptian symbols painted on the outside. This structure serves as a church. Within the church, loudspeakers play Egyptian chants 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  On 8 May 2002, the compound was raided by the FBI, ATF, and related forces from local, state, and federal departments. No shots were fired during the raid, although tear gas was used by FBI agents. Based on a lengthy investigation, authorities arrested York on charges of racketeering and child molestation, including transporting children across state lines for the purpose of sexual exploitation.  He was found guilty and sentenced to 135 years.  Following York’s conviction the land was cleared of all Nuwaubian structures and sold under government forfeiture.  The photographs here are the last to be taken of the compound.  Each print measures approx. 44cm by 30 and is signed by the photographer on the reverse.  Published in an edition of 30 copies of which 25 were offered for sale, numbered and signed by the photographer.  A near fine copy, loose sheets housed in a folding card case.   

$950.00

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