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My next film will be an exploration of architecture, urbanism, (post)colonialism, and national identity in Asmara, Eritrea. I am currently conducting interviews and completing preliminary research. Please check back soon for updates.

This evocative documentary seeks to investigate the city of Asmara through the lens of its architecture and urban design. Asmara – the capital of the Italian colony of Eritrea from 1890 until 1941 and the capital of the modern nation-state since its independence from Ethiopia in 1991 – has one of the highest concentrations of Italian Modernist architecture in the world. This observational film will document this architecture not as a series of static, historical artifacts but rather as symbols of an evolving postcolonial, urban condition and political identity. As such, it will explore how Asmara’s local government preserves this legacy and how the city’s built environment is inscribed in citizens’ social practices, by visually cataloguing the buildings and public spaces that typify Asmara’s unique built environment, and by documenting the social life of the city as it is enabled, constrained and determined by the city’s fabric. Thus, the film will argue for the inextricability of the physical form of a city from its social experience, and will demonstrate how a city’s form and experience are expressions of cultural and political identity.

Index: Film, Video, Asmara

S | Q Projects      ︎  ︎  ︎      Cassim Shepard