Conservation Special Edition - Newsletter May 2009 News ArchiAfrika Welcomes New Chairman By Berend van der Lans
What is the biggest challenge for ArchiAfrika as a network? In my view the biggest challenge will be to consolidate and strengthen the position that ArchiAfrika has built over the years by profesionalising the internal organisation and moreover to keep carrying out inspiring and high quality projects and initiatives.
ArchiAfrika Welcomes New Ofﬁce Administrator By Elisabeth Bastemeijer
The organizational structure of ArchiAfrika is changing step by step, to prepare the foundation for the future. In the beginning 2009, Antoni Folkers and Berend van der Lans left the Board and since then share the position of Director of ArchiAfrika. While Martien de Vletter temporarily took over the position as Chair, we can now proudly introduce to you Alex Klusman as the Chairman of ArchiAfrika. Alex is director of BKB and as in that position responsible for developing and organizing campaigns, research and large events in the ﬁeld of politics, sports, society and culture. Born in Zambia, Alex studied International Relations and French Language and Literature at the University of Groningen. Following his favourite quote from Carl Mason – ‘He who has drunk from the waters of Africa, will live to return’ – he is now setting up a branch ofﬁce in South Africa. ArchiAfrika looks forward to the dynamic input Alex will bring. A few questions for the new Chair : What in your eyes can we all learn from African city life? First of all what attracts me and what I learn from African city life is it’s vibrant culture. Often in contrary to European cities you can feel, smell and experience life in African cities. Besides the vibrant atmosphere of African city life the symbiotic relation between urbanization on the one hand and natural surroundings on the other hand are elements we all can learn from. What was convincing you to become chair of ArchiAfrika? The birth of my new – South African based – company BKB Africa Campaigning and the fact that I’ve just decided to move to Cape Town for at least 6 months convinced me that I would love to contribute to a beautiful platform for the exchange of news and expertise in the ﬁeld of African architecture.
Elisabeth started working at ArchiAfrika in April 2009 as an assistant for the directors, for the secretariat and for fundraising. She is half French, half Dutch and grew up in The Netherlands, Madagascar, and Tanzania. In September 2007 she graduated in cultural sciences in Tilburg where she specialized in intercultural communication and published a book with life stories of second and third generation Moroccan and Turkish women in the Netherlands. After ﬁnishing her MSc, she spent some time working in Africa under a contract with an African regional development organization (CREPA) with its headquarters in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso where she worked on a publication to capitalize the long term effect of CREPA’s development projects on peoples lives. Finally she worked as an administrative employee at the Translation Services of the ANWB (The Dutch Travel Association) just before happily joining the ArchiAfrika team in wish she found the perfect combination of passion for Culture and passion for Africa.
Reports Interview with Dr. W. Ndoro, Director of the African World Heritage Fund. By Rachel Stella Jenkins
Despite great cultural and natural diversity in Africa, only 112 (74 in the Sub-Sahara) of the 851 World Heritage sites are to be found in this region. They, on the other hand, constitute 43 percent of sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger. A state of affairs presented in one of the opening slides of Dr Webber Ndoro’s (Director of the African World Heritage Fund) presentation at the Inauguration of the UNESCO Chair on <<Preventative Conservation, Maintenance of Monuments and Sites>> on 24 March 2009 in Leuven, Belgium. Launched in 2006, the establishment of the African World Heritage Fund (AWFH) was born from an effort to boost the number of African sites on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The mandate set is to pursue the identiﬁcation and preparation of African sites, assist African States to improve their preservation and management of cultural and natural heritage and promote a better understanding of African heritage cultural signiﬁcance and values. Heading this effort: Dr. Ndoro, holding a degree in History and a PhD degree in Heritage Management. His credentials comprise: Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe; Project Manager for the AFRICA 2009 organisation; ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) Member and Staff ICCROM Monuments Coordinator Great Zimbabwe. After his frank and thought provoking speech, where he stressed upon the importance of dialogue and community participation in heritage management, we spoke with Dr Ndoro about some of the dynamics shaping heritage and conservation in Africa, as part of the ArchiAfrika Heritage and Conservation debate (link AA website: Debate on the Built Environment [www.archiafrika.org/en/node/371], 29/01/2009). Within the rapidly urbanising & economic constraints faced by growing African cities, what values do Built Heritage Sites bring in stimulating economic growth? First, I must say it is very difﬁcult to generalise Africa. Harare is very different from Gorée, and from Johannesburg. In Johannesburg there is a lot of tension associated with the preservation of the colonial past. There is a debate about the Art Deco buildings found in the city, the local black people have no need to keep these buildings, the Europeans, on the other hand, want to keep them. So it is very tricky. This, I believe, depends on the colonial presence. Firstly, buildings must have economic value. Through the innovative use of buildings, away from the emphasis as being colonial, general heritage, an approach like going into the township to look at the historical urban landscape and its values can counter act the contradiction. To start in the township then the Art Deco allows room for a common recognition of the values of conserving the cultural heritage. Demolition of prime real estate sites within African cities is an ongoing occurrence despite national antiquities legislation, such as in Dar-es-Salam (link AA website), often with a powerful syndicate of politicians, senior government ofﬁcials and private business backing, there are many more buildings facing the same fate in the name of “development”. What measures can the AWHF take or offer in facing this all too familiar situation? The mindset from go is that new is good. And by the old we feel somehow cheated. We need to get away from this mindset. In Senegal there is beautiful earthen architecture that is very much appreciated. Earthen architecture is, in reality, often associated with vernacular. This is not an overnight process. The major problem is the institutional capacity. There is no prosecution for misconduct. How can we enforce the law?
At the AWHF we work on good practise models, rather than speciﬁc cases. We aim to demonstrate what beneﬁts there are when you do things with old. Africa lacks those good examples. A concentrated effort should be made with 2 or 3 sites, pilots, so people can see what we have done and how we can beneﬁt. And then 5 years down the line we can look back at where we are, what we have achieved and conﬁdently keep at it. In turn also yielding good practice. Prof. M. Vervenne Rector of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven stressed today that: “Heriatge and cultural development should be closely linked”, followed by Prof. Cameron, the former president of the World Heritage Commission: “Whilst mobilising protection is high on the agenda, an emphasised focus needs to be on young people and raising awareness of the value of heritage to be credible in the long-term”. How is the AWHF contributing to these two statements, especially with concern to young people? I must say I agree with both statements, this is deﬁnitely a priority and certainly I believe the future is with young people. We have future programmes for heritage education, however there are too many priorities. We have only 5 people in our organisation and funding is limited. The youth do not have the stereotyped barriers as the old have. University training is critical. And heritage components of the university need to have the capacity for action. In Africa we have a grave lack of numbers. We are overwhelmed. We need to fund projects in schools on education yielding good practitioners and allowing people to learn. Collaboration with others is needed. Everyone has to bring something. At the AWHF we currently have an emphasis to get our funding stable. We aim to grow the fund to become self-sufﬁcient. By 2010 we would ideally have €10 million. Some African governments have been pledging for 2 years, and the Europeans want to fund on a project basis, but we need, ﬁrst and foremost, to establish our foundations. African World Heritage Fund (AWHF)- Call for Project Proposals AWHF has opened the second round of call for proposals. AWHF pursues the identiﬁcation and preparation of African sites towards inscription on the World Heritage List; the conservation and management of sites already inscribed on theWorld Heritage List; the rehabilitation of sites inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger and the training of heritage experts and site managers. Through effective and sustainable management, Africa’s world heritage sites will be catalysts in transforming Africa’s image and act as a vehicle to stimulate economic growth and infrastructure development. The call for proposals is open to all African Member States that have ratiﬁed the 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Details concerning the submission and application form are available at http://www.awhf.net. All applications must be submitted by 30th July 2009 to Mr. Jacob Mhando Nyangila// email@example.com with copies to firstname.lastname@example.org. (see also last page of Newsletter)
National Museum of Mali (Bamako), a good example of modern earthen architecture
Tripoli Central Business District
Hadia Gana is a Libyan artist, ceramicists and, although not trained in the formal sense, a key contributor to the urban planning process underway in Tripoli for 2025. Invited to do an art residency at the Thami Mnyele Foundation in Amsterdam (The Netherlands), she has agreed to be interviewed for the ArchiAfrika newsletter. By Rachel Stella Jenkins Having completed her BA in ceramics at the Al-Fatha University in Tripoli, Libya, Hadia Gana initially taught at the faculty in Tripoli. Later she proceeded to do her Masters degree in the United Kingdom at Cardiff University in Wales, where she was encountered with a different approach to art: “I learnt to mix a bit of everything: lifestyle, people I meet, my work, I put it all together and make a big ball with it and realised it was a good model for living”. This approach, of analysing environments and their atmospheres, curious how they came together, serves to inform Hadia’s present versatile role as artist and planner in an advisory body ECOU (Engineering Consulting Ofﬁce for Utilities, Libya). A planning ministry of sorts made up of local and foreign architects, urban planners and artists advising on the present and future developments for the Libyan capital and rest of the nation. Following your Masters degree how did you make the transition to working in and with planning? Following my Masters, I came back to work again as a teacher in two schools. One, an art school outside of Tripoli, was quite basic. There, I tried introducing this new approach of concepts and new way of thinking, but it is complicated to jump from one side to another quickly. You need a bit of time so the students can properly understand what you want. At the same I time was teaching in a primary craft school in Tripoli. A boy’s school. It was located in a beautiful old Ottoman building. Due to our rapid wealth gain from oil I believe we have come to lose the art of crafts in Libya. People are more preoccupied with working in government and working behind the desk. Like 30years ago in Europe. It is changing, but this attitude that it is better to be behind the desk than to have dirty hands, or working in crafts, still exists. So a lot of craftsmen have disappeared. And the ones that remain do not want to bother with the young, to educate them. The current trend is to directly bring craftsmen from Tunisia, Egypt or Algeria, who can work. So the young craftsmen now don’t know what to do after their study. And because everything is moving, rapidly-changing, I have been invited into different organisations to think about these issues of local crafts, especially with regard to my background in education; to think about what the problems are and how can we resolve them. This exploration of the future of arts and crafts in Libyan society is applicable also to architecture and planning. When I am working with architectural groups, we think about how to introduce different points of view within the city. These organisations and the system they use is very organic as the
individuals selected to take part in the groups are put together depending on the needs. There is no contract specifying exactly what the start or end date is. We just start. And the process takes however long is necessary. It can be a year, sometimes some months. One of the groups I am in, consists of urbanists, architects – of different generations so you have different points-of-view - and artists. This was a group that mostly reorganised housing or complete village projects coming into Libya. Most not located in Tripoli. Can you tell us something about the urbanist movement in Tripoli prior to the planning organisations being established? The urbanist movement was a bit slow at a certain point in Libya. In Libya we do not rent, it is forbidden to rent. All people have to own their own house. Which I feel is very good, as it reduces the slavery of being dependent on monthly out payments. Now in Libya you own your house from the beginning – hopefully. Due to costs, what would happen in Libya is that parents would build rooms for their children on top of their houses and on their roofs. So the house grew upwards and outwards. If you had two children you would make a mushroom-like of house. This actually created a style I call “Libyan Rococo”. We didn’t have a control or view of how people were doing their houses. The situation was often that you had the architect doing a plan, then you had the owner doing his own plan and you had the workforce doing their plan. Each wanting to do it his own way. So you have very odd types of houses with Gothic, Roman and Greek styles. Most times people do not even know what it is; anyhow it became Libyan, I would say.The construction has always been done at a human scale because it is all done with private money and as a gradual process. So it is a more organic growth, like a cell. When you need another room, you just build one in the garden and then if someone gets married you then build another on top of that. In the end it becomes something quite strange. What does ECOU hope to bring or establish in the wake of this, although organic, uncoordinated growth? With the ECOU group, they aim to provide quality and proper houses to prevent this type of “wild-style” building and they deal also with new movements of restoration. On the other side, as a a parallel there is another group doing new housing, and towers etc. They are trying not to make the common planning mistakes with creating ’sleeping areas’, the big vast open areas in cities with no real use or activities. Their approach is to create more villages, and clusters. And there is another group linked to it that is re-organising and planning for 2020 or 2035. An urbanism bureau. This bureau mainly reorganises the city of Tripoli. They take interest in the old city. In
Tripoli we have three stages of development. We have the old city of Tripoli; this quarter has been a bit neglected - as it very often happens. So now they are trying to correct that. After this we have the colonial city, which is also very interesting. It is being restored and will hopefully soon be pedestrian. That would be a big change. These changes have a drastic effect on the people’s lives. Changing the way people move around, which in turn changes the way they think. As here in Amsterdam, the bicycle has a big effect on the lightness of the city. Less cars. Do you think this integrated planning strategy could be used elsewhere as a model? Yes, I think it is good. With all my due respect for urbanism and architects, I do not have experience outside of Libya, but it can be very technical sometimes. They say this needs to be organised this way because people will need it that way. Very theoretical lets say. Luckily for me I do not need to make this effort, I appreciate sometimes you have to behave this way because you have some speciﬁc task to do, but for me, that’s why I say I am unprofessional. Because I consciously work: “unprofessionally”.
and now there are 6 million. With such a huge country those numbers are nothing really, so we can easily get lost. That is the reason those aware of this situation have developed this approach, for the generation after. A human centred approach. It has been a long time in the waiting that local architects have wanted to do something. But I feel it is also good it has come when it came. Had we been at the same rhythm as Europe or Russia, we might have made the same mistakes (in housing etc). Many of the local architects and planners have a Masters from abroad, so they studied the environments where they were. They had the opportunity to observe what works or not and what might ﬁt with Libyan culture. There is no one law for all housing, you just have to adapt it to the way people are. Would you say Libya’s ambitious plan for 2025 are spearheaded by a strong political and socially idealist leadership?
“Libyan Rococo” as seen from the street in Tripoli
I always try to imagine myself being there and if everything was to be all the same it would be really horrible to go around. So even if the trees are not lined exactly the same way, it is pleasant. Even the trees, simple things, in the desert you wouldn’t really see trees lined. If you just do bushes or pockets of trees it is more pleasing for someone who is really hot. If it is hot, and you have very linear things, it is just killing. Would you say this is a typically Libyan approach or specially developed? We were talking about local identity earlier. Most new urbanism projects come from foreign companies, for instance Chinese or sometimes Italians. Even though they may have mixed bureaus – the way of thinking is drastically different between the Chinese and the Libyans. So you really need to have a local point of view when developing these big plans. Initially the projects were going directly from companies to building projects. These planning and building groups were initiated to verify if the new developments are actually compatible with the way Libyans live. In China for instance, it can be quite condensed, so dimensions are a lot smaller. Thus the house in China is viewed more as place to rest; life is more outdoors. On the other hand, in the Libyan culture the house is extremely important because we spend most of our time in the house, so space is needed. Even it you don’t have it, you need to feel the space. Then we have cultural ways to live. For instance, the separation between male guests and private area considered the female realm. All these cultural mannerisms, if you are not really living the culture it is difﬁcult, for us it is obvious. Most people are very attached to their mannerisms, yet we are now experiencing the similar fate as Europe a few years ago, people just want something new. In the 50s, in Libya, there were only 1 million inhabitants
We do also have a strong Western presence in Libya. Of course we want towers like everywhere, we need the highest symbols of urbanism - even in London they are building a huge tower in the middle of the city. We have quite a lot of projects like this. I am not so involved in these projects, but a good thing is that they are grouping them in one area. So they don’t grow all through the city of Tri-poli. I think Tripoli is a beautiful city in her own way; everything is in a very human scale and it is scarce to see something shooting into the sky. We are hopefully getting a Zaha Hadid building as well. It is going to look very modern. I don’t think it is the best approach to say we do not want, or cannot have, towers. How they will be organised, in a controlled manner, I think will be quite nice. The most important is to have a nice skyline and still have a local identity because variation is good. For instance the Dutch wafﬂe, it is typical here in the Netherlands, but we sell them in Libya now. This is a bit disappointing in a way if you are sentimental. You no longer travel to have speciﬁc things. So if this applies also in urban planning, the same way to organise the city and the same way to build the city, the results are boring. You go around and you see exactly the same thing. So why travel? So the local inﬂuence is still very important. Just for the pleasure to have diversity. Finding the right equilibrium. Can you tell us something of the new towns being created and developed in Libya? There is a new extension to Benghazi, a complete city being developed right now. As with Utrecht city in the Netherlands, if you
Can you begin with telling us a bit about your backgrounds’? Raphael Chikukwa: I am an independent curator from Zimbabwe. I am currently a scholar doing my PhD at Kingston University. Which is, I personally believe, about the politics of curating African art. A very controversial topic. We are looking at how African art has been exhibited internationally, what impact did it have in the international audience and who is the audience are we trying to appeal anyway. Those are some of the questions I am trying to ask through my research.
The seaside in the city of Tripoli
can no longer extend the city you can create an annexe city as an extension. The ruins of an old Roman city remain there. The city cannot really grow as there is a protected green area surrounding the city – which I believe is great news, the creation of protected natural areas in the last few years. And, equally, the organisations in Libya must consider a number of factors when developing these new towns. What effects it will have on the old city? Do you really want to take people from the old city and put them in the new one? What jobs they will do? Urbanist thinking. In planning for 2025, would you say the concern for cultural sustainability, maintaining a local identity, is a key concern? Yes. All the architects are very enthusiastic in preparing towards our future, though concerned with maintaining an integral identity. When developing now for the future, the question of who will occupy or work in the towers being built is asked. There is the fear they will just lay empty. The towers are built as a forecast, an attempt to predict how future generations will become. Libyans change relatively fast. And they are very eager to move. In the last 5 years people started going to restaurants and cafés. When I graduated in 1995 as a girl you couldn’t go to a café or you would be looked at, as if it was a strange thing. Now groups of girls, until 12 or 1 o’clock, go out and eat pizza. That is a really fast transition. With families picnicking in the gardens and staying there until late at night or going to the beach with the family, all these things are very new, only since the last few years. So if they are able to change so fast then what more will they be able to do? Our task is to aim to think ahead of them, think as they WOULD think, the question is: what can we prepare for them? Further information on ECOU can be found on their website at: http://www.ecou.ly
In the Spotlight
Christine Eyene: Originally from Cameroon I grew up in France. I am an art critic. I am also doing my Master of Philosophy on the History of Art. And I am the Editor of the website Creative Africa Network. What was your motivation for creating this online network and how can people beneﬁt from it? RC: The network is about creating a platform for African artists to be able to network, both within the continent and out. So we can communicate with each other and be able to look at artists from, lets say, Uganda if I am from Senegal. The Creative African Network creates that platform for me to be able to communicate with artists who I didn’t previously know. So that is one of the advantages of being part of the Creative Africa Network, it will connect me with people within the continent and others who are outside the continent. Those living in the Diaspora, for instance, are perhaps not in the Diaspora because they want to, but they are there, some beyond their control, some because they wanted to be there, or some are studying. We welcome more members to join up and with that the network grows. The most important thing about this network is for us to know each other before the rest of the world. That is another element that this network brings into the African continent and the African Diaspora because most African artists tend to meet outside the continent. So this network aims to bridge that gap. CE: The website has many functions, it is a cultural directory, a calendar with a listing of events and also a network platform, as Raphael was saying, for us to know each other as professional art practitioners. It is also a tool for giving visibility to artists and their events, their proﬁles. It is free, so they just have to register on the website. The way I see it I really want it to be as Art Throb (www. artthrob.co.za), which gives a lot of information about South African artists both within and outside. I want to see it as something much bigger, as a whole African platform, including the Diaspora. For me it is really about giving visibility, to events, also giving the platform to art critics who can post their text. And if they want to review something they can have a platform to put it online. RC: And to also provoke discussions and discourse on contemporary African art.
This month In the Spotlight we present the Creative Africa Network website: http://www.creativeafricanetwork.com Par by Rachel Stella Jenkins Meeting at the Puma headquarters in London, Christine Eyene and Raphael Chikukwa, the editors and joint co-founders of the Creative Africa Network (CAN), both told me about the social networking website: www.creativeafricanetwork.com. An initiative supported by Puma creative, the CAN website is a virtual platform with global reach aiming to connect the creative world within and outside of Africa and bring visibility to the talents working in contemporary art, ﬁlm, architecture, design, and the performing arts.
CE: The website is updated every week, so each week there is a new homepage. And usually I try to highlight events that have taken place the week before or upcoming events. Raphael and myself and more focused on visual arts, we really want to encourage practitioners from different disciplines, form architecture, music, ﬁlm, dance, theatre to give visibility to themselves and also to their colleagues if they don’t have a website. So something like the networking platform Face Book? CE: The difference between the CAN and Face Book is that you can see everyone’s proﬁle; where as in FB you need to know the person. It is more open and inclusive. And also because the site is really about what people do and really highlight their work, where
as in FB you need to go through people you know. On the CAN you can instantly have access to people, people you don’t know you can send them a message. RC: For any critics, curators or art dealers who want to look into African Art it also breaks that boundary whereby I have to go through a speciﬁc gallery to have access to an artist’s work. So avoiding all that, I can see their work for myself and communicate directly with the artist. What results or developments do you hope the CAN can bring about? CE: Having experience in another African cultural platform, Africultures (www.africultures.com), we have seen the success of the internet for the African community from all cultural spectrums. The internet is a tool you can use to access and share information. Because a lot of colleagues in Africa don’t have access to books, what I would like to create on the website is a sort of study group where people can exchange on books. We have also created a library. Those people who have books can share their books with others if there are, for instance, only two copies in the country. It is about sharing information. Sharing debate. It is good to exchange. Exchange helps to enrich… RC: Yes it brings artists closer to each other. Instead of feeling that distance. Get to know each other, get to understand who you are and the way you work and what kind of work you do. And see how they can collaborate if there is need for that. Facilitate this energy and synergies. CE: What I like in the network is that we have high proﬁle curators, collectors etc. There is no hierarchy. The high proﬁle next to the emerging. To engage on the same platform – it is democratic in the end. Also, for example, we are starting to have well-known critics and the way the website works there is no editing, no prioritising who is going to have their contribution on the website. Everyone can comment and contribute intellectually to the debates on what is happening. RC: Those with a design background, such as yourself, can also write something about design, you can post something about design that you think you should share with other people. Not like other networks where it is limited to certain groups of people. The chosen few. So as Christine said, it is a very democratic platform. Not about a certain kind of people. The initiative is supported by Puma. Did they approach you? CE: They approached us. They wanted to create this directory, Raphael was involved before me in the project to contribute to something that would be helpful to the African Diaspora community. Then this developed as a tool, because there has not been anything like this in Africa. I’m sure in a few years it will become something a lot greater than you can expect. CE: I really want it to become a platform for emerging artists, because the established artists we already know them, but emerging artists, they can use it to put themselves out there.
Art work taken from Creative Africa Network website; www. creativeafricanetwork. com AFRICAN LIVING ROOM, 5 May - 24 July. Jean Marc Galerie 8, Paris
RC: Emerging artists are emerging at a special time where there are tools such as this. They should take advantage of the opportunity, because if you look at artists who emerged or worked during the 50’s or 60’s up to the 80’s and 90’s, internet was not as popular as it is today. There is the need for emerging artists to take advantage of the internet. It is important to have voice. In our interconnected world there is such a strong tendency to label people today, stereotypes, this medium offers the opportunity to just present yourself as you want to be appreciated. The Creative Africa Network website can be found at: http://www.creativeafricanetwork.com It is organised in the following structure: Creative: Calendar// Fine Art// Architecture// Design// Fashion// New Media// Performing Arts// Literature// Music// Photography// Dance// Film Africa: North Africa// Central Africa// East Africa// West Africa// Southern Africa// Diaspora Network: Faces// Names Library: Librarians// Book It is free and easy to register and upload your work. ArchiAfrika, along with its two directors are already members of the site. (http:// www.creativeafricanetwork.com/page/1911/en) Creative Africa Network will cover Africa’s participation to the Venice Biennale 2009 in Italy with interviews, reviews and photo-galleries between 04|06|2009 > 07|06|2009.
Reports Disappearing Heritage of Dar es Salaam By Karen Moon With substantial contributions by Jeremy Cross
Dar es Salaam is not a city of imposing architecture, planned civic spaces, squares and public gardens where the attractions both for visitors and residents are obvious. Yet it certainly has a lot of charm. (Or is “had” more appropriate these days? – a monthly review is needed: it’s changing fast.) When I was ﬁrst a resident in 2003, I discovered a wealth of interest in the city centre. The “old German area” to the east, including Government House and Ocean Road Hospital – spacious and open, with its trees, generous plots and residences – contrasted pleasantly with the denser areas of the central business district, where there is plenty of historical interest in the narrow streets and lively assembly of commercial and residential structures. Many noteworthy individual buildings were evident amidst an abundance of modestly-scaled, 20th century vernacular architecture. Noteworthy too, was the generally low standard of maintenance of older buildings; and there were incipient signs of uncoordinated and destructive change, in particular, jarring, out-of scale intrusions, like a multi-storey building in a streetscape of 2-storey 1930s shops. All the same the overall impression was of a city well worth exploring, with resources that, if carefully developed and with its buildings refurbished, would make it an attractive place to work or live. As months went by, it soon became clear to me that the rate of change was rapid and some of Dar’s inhabitants were becoming increasingly concerned about escalating demolition in the central business district in the context of no obvious development plan. New buildings were also being erected, but were they improvements? The majority were undistinguished ofﬁce blocks on 8 to 12 stories which dwarfed those around, set on inappropriately small
plots in narrow streets where they reduced light and ventilation, intruded on neighbourhood communities and raised daytime population density. In February 2006, with the encouragement of the Tanzania Architects Association, support of the Government Antiquities Division and in response to the evidently urgent need for protection of the city’s heritage structures, I started a survey of the central business district – the area which at that time seemed most under threat. It was carried out between 11th January and 7th February 2006 with a further session in the middle of March, with contributions from Kaisi Kalambo, Gloria Mawji, and Valerie Goulet. The area of focus formed a ﬂattened half-circle on the city plan, enclosed within the gentle curve of Jamhuri Street to the north/northwest and by the straight line of Samora Avenue at its base (completed by Azikiwe Street at the northeast side and Bibi Titi on the west) (see Map). Buildings which faced onto these boundary streets were also included. The intention was to carry out a survey of the area to record the buildings of historic or architectural interest, taking into account older structures which provided appropriate context in historic streetscapes, even if undistinguished in themselves. While there are signiﬁcant historic assemblies outside the selected area, both to the north of Jamhuri Street and south of Samora Avenue, the section chosen as the focus area seemed most vulnerable at the time.
Map of the Central Business District of Dar es Salaam. The red line marks the roads taken as the boundary of the focus area or the purpose of this study (Buildings on both sides of these roads were reviewed). The area covered during the 2006 survey is shown in green. Map by Karen Moon.
Fanning out westwards from the east end of Samora Avenue by the Askari monument, a building-by-building assessment was performed and about two thirds of the focus area (350 buildings) was covered in the time period available. As each heritage building was identiﬁed, it was brieﬂy described on a specially-developed record sheet and its condition was noted. Plot numbers and occupants’ names were recorded whenever the information was available at the site. As well as completing these handwritten forms, all identiﬁed buildings were carefully plotted on maps and many were also recorded in photographs. Though no decisions could be made before the survey’s completion, initial thought was given to which areas and streetscapes which might merit protection and a preliminary list of key buildings and those of special architectural interest was assembled including those sites already protected by law. This exercise was seen as the ﬁrst step of an inclusive process in which the list would be later revised
through consultation with resident community leaders, local historians and other stakeholders to ensure that heritage buildings remarkable for reasons of historical or cultural signiﬁcance were also included. However, the activity of the survey was time consuming and unfunded and the opportunity to complete it did not immediately emerge. In the meantime, the handwritten record sheets and a digital summary of information collected were given to the Antiquities Division. What was learned from this process? What heritage resources were identiﬁed? What can we say is special about Dar es Salaam? Of course, the area assessed was limited and even the focus area was not fully covered. However, it became possible to begin to assess the situation, understand the composition of the studied area, and identify its heritage resources and conservation problems. Of the 350 buildings assessed, it was found that more than 60% contributed to the heritage value of the area in some way. Of these more than 20% could be considered of special interest including 7 structures (2%) already protected by law.
Beyond these numbers, the survey conﬁrmed that the historic fabric of the central business district has a wealth of character and architectural appeal: there are many qualities to admire. It contains a rich assembly of small-scale mixed-use buildings forming intricate streetscapes which are typically bound at the corners by more substantial properties. The layout is partially a grid, but there are many angled thoroughfares generated by the bend in Jamhuri Street. As a result, one of the distinctive features of the central business district is the way these thoroughfares meet, forming star-shaped intersections, sometimes with central roundabouts. Due to the angles created, many of the larger, corner properties are built on trapezium plots from which dramatic forms naturally arise. These distinctive structures frame each open area. The intersections provide pleasurable contrast when emerging from the narrow streets. Six roundabout junctions of this kind are features of the area studied, and smaller intersections of similar character abound. Perhaps one of the ﬁnest in terms of architectural interest surviving at the time of the 2006 survey was the junction of Jamhuri and Mkwepu Streets and Upanga Road. Another pleasing and idiosyncratic feature of Dar’s central business district noted in 2006 is the engaging way the city’s bursts of development, as well as clues to its economic composition, are announced on the building’s street fronts. From the early 1930s to the mid 1970s there were several separate periods of building growth marked in this way in an area which, for historical reasons
The glorious, balconied “Crown Exchange Building” on Zanaki Street. [Photo K. Moon] “Shashi House”, 1932 facing the roundabout junction of Jamhuri/Mkwepu Streets and Upanga Road. [Photo K. Moon]
(to be exact, due to colonial, racial segregation) is dominated by Asian retailers. During this time, as new structures were built, a novel decorative tradition became established. Family businesses enthusiastically proclaimed their new-found prosperity on their properties’ elevations – by embellishing them in plaster relief with the date of construction and the family name. This gave rise to animated stretches of buildings where the history of their occupants can be ‘read’ on the street façade. As a convenient spin-off, it’s also a handy aid to documenting the area’s development. One of the earliest groups of such ‘personalised’ buildings recorded during the 2006 survey was along Indira Ghandi Road south of Morogoro Road. Spectacular building which succumbed in one of the recent spate of demolitions. Demolished since 2006. [Photo K. Moon]
Group of 1930s buildings each emblazoned with the owner’s name and date on Indira Ghandi Road. [Photo K. Moon]
Many individual buildings were also identiﬁed within the historic area of the central business district, which stood out from their neighbours due to their clarity of form, attractive detailing or distinctive character. Amongst these can be mentioned the Crown Exchange Building on Zanaki Street for its elaborate woodwork and distinctive sculptural mass, the large corner building at the junction of Indira Ghandi and Morogoro Roads (north corner) and the resplendent “Bagamoyo House” its neighbour (Not recorded during the survey but within the focus area.), the Aga Khan buildings on Mosque Street and “Shashi House”, the ﬁne corner building at the roundabout junction of Jamhuri Street and Upanga Road. More modest structures noted include the Hindu community’s Shree Sorathia Prajapati Gnati Mandal on Upanga Road with its elaborately decorated window-heads; the “Bajarang Building, with its elegant Palladian window and traditional folding doors, Samora Avenue’s “Salamander Building” and “Light Tower” and the idiosyncratic German building on the corner of Railway Road. Those mentioned are but a small number of the many buildings of note.
Detail of the “Shree Sorathia Prajapati Gnati Mandal”, a Hindu Community building on Upanga Road. [Photo K. Moon]
Distinctive German corner building at the roundabout junction of Samora Avenue and Railway Road. [Photo K. Moon]
In addition to these ﬁndings, various problems were evident which gave cause for concern for the future of the historic resources. Chief among these was the apparent lack of any heritage conservation strategy in the city’s development plan. There appeared to be no coordination with the Antiquities Division, the authority responsible for heritage matters. In the city as a whole, in fact, the limited Antiquities legislation that existed was routinely ignored. It was clear that demolitions were occurring randomly within the historic district in response to individual investment opportunities; and the only guidance for new construction evident was an insistence on the new buildings being high rise – without regard to the resulting stress on infrastructure and increasing trafﬁc congestion. While residents were clearly worried that these changes were not in the public interest and individuals sometimes expressed their anxiety in the local press, no forum for public discussion and action had emerged. No local heritage society, for example, had been set up which could have brought these voices together and acted as a pressure group. Such was the survey of 2006. Now ArchiAfrika, prompted by rising criticism of the ever-more rapid demolition, has decided to devote space to this topic and asked me to contribute. Since the survey of 2006, what has changed? It would be instructive to understand more of the extent of Dar’s transformation and its impact on the heritage resources. Jeremy Cross, a Chartered Surveyor and heritage specialist currently in Tanzania, offered to review the current situation in light of my earlier study. His survey, carried out from 4th – 9th May 2009, repeated the 2006 work of reporting, on a building-by-building basis, and focused on the same area covered in 2006 for comparative purposes. It must be the most recent systematic assessment of the situation. Jeremy’s conclusions were at the same time encouraging and dispiriting.
On Mosque Street: dramatic and still well-kept, the mid-1930s Aga Khan Building. [Photo K. Moon]
“Bajarang Building”, 1938. Modest, mixed-use building with Palladian window and traditional folding doors. Demolished since 2006. [Photo K. Moon]
The 2009 survey found that 56 of the 350 buildings assessed in 2006 had been demolished in the intervening period. The rate of demolitions is reputedly rising, but if demolitions just held at the same rate now, the entire building stock would be demolished in 18 years! 35 of the 215 heritage buildings recorded in 2006 had been demolished or were being prepared for demolition at the time of review (works had started, or notices posted, etc.) which included 15 of those earlier identiﬁed as of special interest and one theoretically protected by legislation – the old mosque at the corner of Zanaki Street and Indira Ghandi Road. Sadly, amongst the demolitions were several 1930s buildings including the Bajarang Building and Habib Punja Star Building, both of 1938. Jeremy also noted a destructive spate of demolitions along Morogoro Road which has wiped out several major structures of heritage value including the large corner building mentioned earlier at the junction of Indira Ghandi and Morogoro Roads (north corner) and its neighbour, the landmark “Bagamoyo House” has also gone. Samora Avenue, too,
“Habib Punja Star Building” 1938. Demolished 2006. [Photo K. Moon]
Neighbour to “Bagamoyo House”. A ﬁne building on Morogoro Road recenty lost. Demolished since 2006. [Photo K. Moon]
The ﬁnely detailed and proportioned “Kanti Building” of 1936, which graced Jamhuri Street until recently is a sad loss. Note the multi-storey buildings encroaching on the right. Demolished since 2006. [Photo K. Moon]
“Light Corner” at the end of a small group of surviving German buildings on Samora Avenue, in 2004. In process of demolition at the time of writing, but could still be saved. [Photo K. Moon]
has been badly hit by the loss of the Salamander Building (which Antiquities fought to prevent, but was overruled) and the imminent demolition of the admirable group of early 20th century retail buildings nearby which terminates at “Light House”. Here, partial demolition has already taken place. A stop order was issued, which for the moment has halted it, but undoubtedly strong action is needed to save these important buildings, where in some cases, only the facade now remains and that in a precarious state. The current status of these buildings does not prevent rehabilitation, as the historic facade could be retained with a new structure inserted behind – a strategy that has been successfully taken in many historic places. However, saving these structures on Samora will be a test for the determination of Dar’s concerned residents as Antiquities cannot prevail without public support. Jeremy further noted that individual plot density is continuing to increase dramatically (many plots of 2 to 3 storeys are 12 storeys now) often on extremely small plots of land. One 10 storey building on Jamat Street is barely 5m wide. Even though roughly one third of the buildings demolished since 2006 were considered to be of no historic interest, virtually all of them had been of a scale appropriate to the heritage setting. By contrast, the scale of those taking their place is of an entirely different order, and they are randomly inserted in almost every historic group, interrupting streetscapes, destroying perspectives and dominating skylines. As each successive redevelopment takes place, light and ventilation to the lower storeys will become increasingly restricted. The strain on infrastructure, as pointed out earlier, is being completely ignored. Nevertheless Jeremy was pleased to report that the central business district still has important heritage resources and some areas of the his-
toric streetscapes remain intact. These include stretches along Makunganya and Mkwepu Streets and sections of Indira Ghandi Road. The “Shashi House” roundabout on Jamhuri Street is still untouched, while outside the assessment area covered in the 2006 survey, Mosque Street and Kisutu Street are for the most part unharmed. And it is at least encouraging that two of the buildings protected by legislation have been refurbished since the 2006 survey: “Cosy Café” on the east side of the junction of Makunganya and Mkwepu Streets and the German-built Revenue Building on Samora Avenue, though in both these cases their historic context is disappearing fast.
In concluding his report, Jeremy lamented the piecemeal approach to demolition and redevelopment in process, and the impact it was having on the overall cohesion and heritage value of the various assemblies. Because most of the new development is uncoordinated and takes places on an ad hoc, plot by plot basis, it fails to take the opportunity for coherent and practical redevelopment options. As far as resistance goes – to the decimation of heritage resources – there has been little change. Demolitions continue, and there is no sign of improvement in coordination between the Municipal authorities, the Ministry of Lands and the Antiquities Division. Amongst the public at large, there may be increasing concern over demolitions, but there is still no sign of civil society consolidating in a way that will empower it and generate effective action. Why should we keep these buildings and what can be done? Among Dar’s residents as a whole, arguments against the retention of older buildings dominate, but are often short sighted. Land values and the pressure of demand for city plots are given precedence over longer-term considerations, including heritage conservation. Many see conservation as backward-looking and do not understand the positive contribution historic buildings and districts within the city can make and do make in other places. To them, retaining older, single or two-storey buildings seems a loss, but in the long-term the city should beneﬁt. An integrated conservation strategy will enhance the economic environment. A city with contrasts and variety in the age and design of its architecture and spaces is an attractive place in which to live and work, a place where investment is attracted and one where tourism can ﬂourish. These features also have other, less quantiﬁable, values which must be taken into account. They contribute a sense of identity which a city of modern buildings does not always have. Some feel “Why should we protect the colonial structures and the old Asian area?”Older buildings tell the story of the past from which modern Tanzania has grown. They preserve a sense of history from which future generations can beneﬁt. Embracing the architecture of different elements of society (African, Asian, European), expresses a pride in the nation’s diversity and an acceptance of those who have contributed to this story through the centuries. Conﬁdence in the past is a sign of a nation’s strength and maturity. A varied city is also a better environment for its inhabitants. Ofﬁce workers and residents need quiet streets to relax in, green spaces and areas for leisure and entertainment. Visitors too, appreciate these attractions. Historic areas provide visual interest and, their smaller-scale provides spaces where more modest enterprises can ﬂourish including cultural venues, art galleries, craft shops, cafes, bookshops and theatres. To achieve a balance in the architecture of the city several issues must be addressed. A broad-based strategy for development is required. Essential to this is an integrated city plan which incorporates conservation concerns. Heritage assets must be considered and given greater centrality in the day-to-day decision making process. Government and city authorities must work together towards a common goal. Better consultation and coordination of objectives is needed between the Ministry of Lands, Dar es Salaam and Ilala City Councils, and the Antiquities Division. Legislation should be harmonized: inconsistencies within the Town and City Planning Act of 1956, the Antiquities Act of 1964, and the Lands Act no. 4, of 1999 must be reconciled. For this, a study will be needed to fully address the heritage resources of the city centre and prepare a conservation and development strategy for incorporation in the Master Plan. In this, alternative areas for expansion and for high-rise development must be identiﬁed, where appropriate infrastructure, trafﬁc routes and parking can be provided alongside. In the historic centre, skylines, individual groupings of buildings and vistas within
High rise buildings dwarf historic structures on street [Photo J. Cross]
the city must be carefully considered and protected. Pedestrianised areas should be established. Rehabilitation of existing buildings of merit within the city must be planned, and guidelines provided for historic property owners, designed to retain the special character of selected areas. Legal protection must be extended and heritage training provided for municipal planning staff. The survey of May 2009 has shown that the city centre still has heritage assets to protect. But time is short. Older buildings of character with signiﬁcant stories to tell about the past are being swept away. If priority continues to be given to investment, without a framework in which these heritage assets are securely embedded, they cannot survive. A mere 18 years of continuing demolition will leave nothing to save. Government and city authorities have the power to address these issues which will create a better environment for the people who live and work in the city. This responsibility must be taken. Their future strategy must set a plan in place which ensures a consciously designed, and not an arbitrary future, for Dar es Salaam. Karen Moon is a cultural heritage conservation expert with extensive experience in Africa, who specialises in documentation, presentation and interpretation of architectural/cultural/ archaeological heritage sites and historic cities. She is currently based in Liberia.
Acquisitions Granted: CORRECTION: Granted by Bukka Trust John Godwin & Gillian Hopwood [ed] (2007) The Architecture of Demas Nwoko. Faraﬁna, Lagos. Granted by Cascoland, Amsterdam Fiona de Bell, Roel Schoenmakers & Michiel van Oosterhout (2007) Cascoland: Interventions in Public Space, Drill Hall Johannesburg, South Africa. Episode Publishers, Rotterdam. Granted by Gilbert Kibtonre Jean-Baptiste Kiethega [ed] (2006) Etat des Lieux des Savoirs Locaux au Burkina Faso. CAPES, Ouagadougou. Granted by Garth Andrew Myers Garth Andrew Myers (1993) Reconstructing Ng’ambo: Town Planning and Development on the Other Side of Zanzibar. University of California, Los Angeles. Granted by Coen Beeker Serge Snrech (1995) Preparing for the Future: A Vision of West Africa in the Year 2020. OECD/OCDE Club du Sahel; ADB/BAD; CILSS, Abidjan. Coen Beeker (1987) Urbane Planning in Afrika; Palavers over de Ruimtelijke van de Agglomeratie Ouagadougou/ Burkina Faso. Univercity of Amsterdam, Amsterdam. Granted by Antoni Folkers Soalma (2006) Il Etat un Royaume des Savanes D’Afrique. Editions Le Capucin, Bouffant. Amadou Hampate Ba (1996) Oui mon Commandant!: Memoires (II). Babel, Saint-Amand-Montrond. Eric Uphill (1988) Egyptian Towns and Cities. Shire Publications Ltd., Pembrokeshire. Gahlib Omar Awadh (1995) The Impact of Development policies and Projects; A critique on Housing and Human Settlements (Case Study: Zanzibar). Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven. Christian Ryo [ed] (2008) Les Soldats des Colonies dans la Premiere Guerre Mondiale. Editions Ouest-France, Rennes. Makhily Gassama [ed] (2008) L’Afrique Repond a Sarkozy; Contre le dicours de Dakar. Phillippe Rey, Lonrai. Somers Clarke & R. Engelbach (1990) Ancient Egyptian Construction and Architecture. Dover Publications, Inc., New York. Ing. Wagner (1979) University of Dar Es Salaam; Faculty of Engineering. German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), Eschborm. Nao Oumarou [eds et all] (2005) Le Na-Yiri de Kokologho. CRATerreENSAG, Villefontaine. Purchased: Dambisa Moyo (2009) Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York.
Colofon Text Karen Moon Rachel Stella Jenkins Berend van der Lans Elisabeth Bastemeijer Design Rachel Stella Jenkins Editing Berend van der Lans Translation Anne-Marie van den Nieuwenhof-Damishimiro FONDATION SHIMIRO, Pointe-Noire, Congo Elisabeth Bastemeijer
18 May - 16 August 2009 Pancho Guedes Exhibition, Vitruvius Mozambicanus, Portugal 4 - 5 June 2009 The Planned vs. the Unplanned City, The Netherlands 4 June - 12 June 2009 Environmental Film Festival of Accra, Ghana 4 June - 5 July 2009 Asmara; Africa`s Secret Modernist City - Architecture Exhibition in Bologna, Italy 21 - 22 July 2009 NSF US - Tanzania: Advancing the Structural use of Earth-based Bricks, Tanzania 24 - 28 September 2009 African Perspectives Pretoria, The City (Re)Sourced, South Africa 12 - 14 October 2009 International Conference on Sustainable Built Environment Infrastructures in Developing Countries, Algeria 30 - 31 October 2009 Docomomo: Planned Conservation of XXth Century Architectural Heritage: A Review of Policies and Practices, Italy 28 - 30 April 2010 International Regional Conference on Sustainable Construction. Revitalisation and Rehabilitation of Districts, Spain 19 - 27 August 2010 11th International Docomomo Conference - Living in the Urban Modernity, Mexico
Supported by ArchiAfrika receives support from the following institutes and organisations: Stichting Doen Delft University of Technology De Twee Snoeken Automatisering FBW Architecten bkvdl Dioraphte Foundation
P.O. box 14174 3508 SG Utrecht Netherlands tel +31 (0)30 223 23 20 fax +31 (0)30 251 82 78 www.archiafrika.org
African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) - Call for Project Proposals
AWHF has opened the second round of call for proposals. AWHF pursues the identiﬁcation and preparation of African sites towards inscription on the World Heritage List; the conservation and management of sites already inscribed on theWorld Heritage List; the rehabilitation of sites inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger and the training of heritage experts and site managers. Through effective and sustainable management, Africa’s world heritage sites will be catalysts in transforming Africa’s image and act as a vehicle to stimulate economic growth and infrastructure development. The call for proposals is open to all African Member States that have ratiﬁed the 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Details concerning the submission and application form are available at http://www.awhf.net. All applications must be submitted by 30th July 2009 to Mr. Jacob Mhando Nyangila email@example.com with copies to firstname.lastname@example.org
11th International Docomomo Conference Living in the Urban Modernity Mexico City, August 19-27, 2010. The rapid growth of urban areas from cities to metropolis in the twentieth century created a favorable environment for establishing a discourse on modern architecture. The advancement of technology and the ntroduction of new materials, which brought about new forms of expression, were not the only triggers for transformation. Concerns for wellbeing, such as hygiene, education, health, leisure and the right to work were also fundamental in shaping buildings and cities, leading to innovative architectural proposals withthe framework of a diverse urban structure. Call for Papers and Case Studies For the 2010 Docomomo Conference, Docomomo Mexico proposes to analyze the different elements that transformed the city and its architecture. Architects, researchers, historians and other parties in the process of preservation, conservation, renovation or transformation of modern towns and buildings are invited to investigate on the manifold challenges and dilemmas posed by living the urban modernity. Original papers are invited for submission under the following sub-themes: (1) Modern Living (2) Civic and Social Infrastructure (3) The Modern City (4) Technology for a Modern Habitat (5) The University City Read the complete Call for Papers at: http://www.docomomo2010.unam.mx/ Those interested in presenting a paper or a case study should submit an abstract before September 15, 2009 to: <email@example.com>. The Conference will be held at the Faculty of Architecture of the National University, UNAM, declared World Heritage by Unesco in 2007. Write to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Visit <http://www.docomomo2010.unam.mx>. International committee for documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the modern movement Docomomo International Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine Palais de Chaillot 1, place du Trocadéro F-75016 Paris t +33 -1 58 51 52 65 e email@example.com w http://www.docomomo.com/