AD–WO

Merkato Tapestry, commissioned by ‘African Mobilities: This Is Not A Refugee Camp Exhibition’ at Architekturmuseum der TU München.

The Merkato Tapestry is a timescape analyzing the complex spatialities of Addis Merkato. The market is a testing ground for the future of Addis Ababa and a space of resistance against ongoing displacement. A robust network of merchants have devised spatial, cultural and economic strategies that have allowed them to maintain ownership of the market. The 2.7 × 4.2 meter tapestry reassembles the market into an array of 126 scenes, documenting the various materials used to construct the market since its initial settlement in the late 1930s.

Three notations render movement and directionality—a quiet dynamism that becomes visible when standing within a certain proximity from the scenes of Addis Merkato.
These scenes have been translated into elevations and codified by their degree of material permanence.
The building types are organized chronologically from top to bottom, representing an intensifying shift towards a tyranny of permanence.
The exhibition was preceded by a series of exchanges held in multiple cities across the African continent.

Curator: Dr. Mpho Matsipa

Type: Tapestry (Exhibition)

Location: Munich, Germany

Year: 2018

Photographs: Laura Trumpp

Exhibition Design: Wolff Architects

Team: Emanuel Admassu, Jen Wood