Simulizi Mijini / Urban Narratives is an academic, artistic and publishing exchange between Berlin, Germany and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The focus is on urban heritage, whether tangible (architecture) or intangible (cultural practices at large).
The angle is “from below” –at street level, as it is known, informed and generated by communities.
The outcome is a public, open-source, interactive archive in print and online.
Goal: explore unspoken cultural practices, urban heritage, and their transmission with new transnational formats of inquiry.
Between 2015 and 2016, artists from Germany and Africa will be hosted in two residency spaces in Berlin and Dar es Salaam. Their diverse backgrounds and techniques will allow for a truly innovative inquiry on urban heritage.
Goal: collaborate with locals and involved actors to produce an open-source urban heritage map based on oral histories.
During summer schools organised in March and August 2016, students from TU Berlin and Ardhi University will cooperate with local communities and professionals to create digital tools mapping tangible and intangible urban heritage.
Goal: share the results and provide opportunities for the public to participate in and further the debate on urban narratives
Editorial teams from ANZA magazine (Dar es Salaam) and uncube (Berlin) collaborate to produce a joint issue on urban heritage in the two cities, covering topics such as forgotten architecture, preservation, and cultural practices.
- develop horizontal South-North dialogues and foster transdisciplinary exchanges
- build awareness of urban heritage and urban identities, between diverse actors (institutions, artists, architects, planners, local communities, residents…)
- question established concepts and dichotomies such as colonial/postcolonial, high/low, formal/informal, rural/urban, migrant/native
- experiment with new formats of artistic inquiry and academic research to reach more transnational understandings of heritage and identity
- question current definitions and methods of archiving urban heritage
- develop inclusive strategies and approaches towards documenting, visualising and commemorating urban heritage “from below”
- collaborate with locals and involved actors to produce an open-source urban heritage map and collect concealed oral histories to help create a post-colonial archive of urban narratives
- communicate the results to a wider audience and provide opportunities for the interested public to participate in and further the debate on urban narratives
The Habitat Unit research department from TU Berlin seeks to integrate spatial, material and cultural sensitivities with new models of participation, co-production and urban governance. Their role is to develop new expertise and application-oriented tools relevant for understanding and mapping urban heritage.
Habitat Unit represents the Technische Universität Berlin in the Habitat Partner Universities Initiative established worldwide by UN-Habitat.
The Dar Center for Architectural Heritage aims at saving and promoting historical architecture in Dar es Salaam and the wider East African context through research, documentation, education, training, community outreach and public cultural events.
DARCH! is a joint initiative by the Architects Association of Tanzania, Ardhi University and TU Berlin. The project is contracted by the Tanzanian Ministry of Finance and funded by the European Union.
The ZK/U, an innovative venue for artistic events and residencies near Westhafen port in Berlin-Moabit, is a laboratory for inter- and trans-disciplinary activities centered on the phenomenon of “the city”. Working with local and international artists, the ZK/U residencies in 2015-2016 will bring together critical minds at the cutting-edge of artistic production and urban research.
ZK/U was created in 2012 by the Berlin-based KUNSTrePUBLIK artist collective.
Nafasi is a sustainable art centre in Dar es Salaam which provides studios for contemporary visual artists and offers an active public programme. It is becoming a key platform of training, exhibition and exchange in contemporary arts, and seeks to support production and entrepreneurship locally, regionally and beyond.
Nafasi Art Space opened in 2007 as a Non-Governmental Organisation with support from the Danish Centre for Cultural and Development (DCCD).
TU Berlin + Ardhi University
ARDHI University and Technische Universität Berlin will collaborate on the organization of a summer school in each city, open for students in Architecture, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture programs. In March and August 2016, respectively in Dar and Berlin, 15 students will participate in workshops to research the urban history, architectural preservation, community engagement in each city, with the final goal of producing sustainable online heritage maps. In the spirit of performative urbanism, the format of this output will be defined as the research deepens in each city –updates on our findings will be added to the research page.
uncube + ANZA magazines
uncube is a Berlin-based digital magazine for architecture and beyond, with each issue bringing to attention a particular topic or personality through well-curated contents and beautifully-designed pages. ANZA, the first architecture magazine for East Africa and Tanzania, seeks to discuss and understand the transformation of African cities and their identities by looking at the past, present and future in all their seriousness and humor. Each magazine will contribute an issue after spending some time researching in the exchange city –further details will be posted on the publication page.