Urban history and heritage in Addis Ababa

SÉMINAIRE / SEMINAR

CFEE Seminar Past and Present: History, Memory and Heritage
(2015-2016)

2ème séance / 2nd session: Urban history and heritage in Addis Ababa, par / by Dominique HARRE & ABEL CHALA

Mardi 17 novembre 2015, 14h-17h, Bibliothèque d’études éthiopiennes Berhanou Abebe (CFEE) / Tuesday 17th November 2015, 2-5 PM, Berhanou Abebe Library of Ethiopian Studies (CFEE).

Urban history and heritage in Addis Ababa

Cette session est la seconde d’un cycle thématique de deux sessions sur la question du lien entre bâtiments et mémoire locale. / This session is the second of a thematic cycle (two sessions) devoted to the link between local memory and buildings.

1. Looking at « heritage maps »: the Indian community in Addis Ababa, par / by Dominique HARRE

Indian presence drove Addis Ababa’s early development following Emperor Menelik II’s resolve to make his new capital the commercial hub of the Empire. This is visible in the early architecture, as many Indians came as builders and carpenters from the 1890s onwards, and contributed to introduce new styles that were popular until the 1940s. Looking at places and memories, the presentation will question the “heritage map” shaped by this foreign community’s imprint on the city, as overtime, Indian builders, traders, businessmen, craftsmen, and teachers, participated too in the making of Addis Ababa.

2. The politics of heritage: A focus on the statue of Emperor Menelik II, its history and preservation challenge, par / by ABEL CHALA

The equestrian statue of Emperor Menelik II was inaugurated in Addis Ababa, Saint George square, on November 1st 1930, on the eve of the ceremonial coronation of Tafari Makonnən as king of kings of Ethiopia. However, it was demolished by the Italian fascist rulers in 1936. It was re-erected and inaugurated on 5, May 1942, one year after the end of the occupation, on the occasion of the 1st anniversary of the Liberation. Through the history of Menelik’s statue, this presentation aims at discussing the changing value of what we call today « urban heritage » and its relation with political choices.

Les intervenants / The speakers

Dominique Harre est une chercheuse indépendante, socio-économiste de formation. Elle a mené des recherches sur l’histoire de la communauté indienne d’Addis-Abeba, et prépare actuellement un guide du patrimoine urbain du vieux quartier de Piazza (à paraître dans la collection City Guides du CFEE). / Dominique Harre is an independent researcher trained in socio-economics. She undertook extensive research on the history of the Indian community of Addis Ababa, and she is now preparing a guide of the urban heritage of the old neighborhood of Piazza (to be published by the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies in the City Guides series).

Abel Chala est historien et spécialiste du patrimoine urbain, diplômé d’un Master de l’Université de Debre Berhan. Il enseigne au Debre Berhan Teacher Training College. / Abel Chala is a historian and urban heritage specialist, MA from Debre Berhan University. He currently teaches at the Debre Berhan Teacher Training College.

Organisateurs du séminaire / Convenors of the seminar series: Belete Bizuneh (AAU, History Dept.), Deresse Ayenachew (Debre Berhan University, History and Heritage Management Dept.), Thomas Guindeuil (CFEE), Margaux Herman (CFEE/IMAF), Kindeneh Endeg (AAU, IES), Shiferaw Bekele (AAU, History Dept.).

Photo : Dominique Harre.


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