In the Uyghur language, Taklamakan means the desert « in which you can enter but from which you don’t return”. Nevertheless, many have defied the desert and triumphed. Oases and even kingdom rose from its sands, prospered and then fell down during the centuries. Today only few millennial ruins remain as testimony of this past, and at their side new towns, oil fields and skyscrapers have soared, symbols of the recent industrialisation that has turned the Xinjiang region, rich in oil, gas and uranium, into the new Chinese Eldorado. The book intertwines two ways of storytelling, photographs and narration, which are set in dialogue so as to present two points of view on the world which complement one another, mixing past and present, fiction and reality.