From May 29th to June 7th, 2017, EiABC hosted the "The Photography Archival and Community Project" initiated by the Center for Photography in Ethiopia (CPE) in collaboration with Goethe-Institut. It aimed at linking a group of photographers to a group of different communities (in this case architecture students) in Addis Ababa through a workshop.
Photography plays a more and more a critical role in how we experience, engage and perceive our cities, especially with the advent of social media. Photographs of cities' pasts often interlink with how we want to see our cities of the future. In our photos we foreground those elements that we love and distance those elements that we do not like. How we picture our cities becomes the inspiration for our future cities. Photography has also played a critical role in the development of the social construction of our cities. As witness and author, it has shown us what our cities look like in the centres and peripheries of our development. At the same time architecture has become a site for photography, with billboards and other display mechanisms bringing photos to our horizons.
"The Photography Archival and Community Project" wants to inspire discussion and awareness of Addis' histories and future. By looking at architectural archive materials and photography archives, contemporary images of our cities can be understood in wider contexts. The project engaged architecture students and photographers around these ideas. Participants looked at personal archives and social media images as a starting point to understand how we make place and cities. Participants learned to contextualize images of space and place them within historical, social and political understandings. Further participants photographed and learned to copy archival materials with their mobile phones. Participants considered different public sites for the installation of their work in a way to transform architecture.
The workshop focused on integrating the concept of archiving, photography & architecture and was run by John Fleetwood, Director of a photography platform Photo: in Johannesburg, South Africa.