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Part 2: Addis Ababa – Losing Merkato. The threat of modern development. #firethebox




In response to our initial post about the Merkato Market yesterday, the following story was shared with us via a comment at our site. Essentially the culture, way of life and authenticity of Addis Ababa is being threatened by something we often hail i.e. modern development. This thesis considers the other side of development, where the author “shares the unheard voices of the people affected the most”.H

How do we balance the needs for development, amidst the exciting, chaotic, vibrant and authentic atmosphere that draws people to Addis Ababa and its open air markets in the first place?

This film is a beautiful and nuanced portrait of five unique individuals and their particular relationship with the market. The modern development in Ethiopia and its overall impact on the people and culture of this unique community is threatening the survival of MERKATO. I knew this moment had to be documented to share the unheard voices of the people affected the most. It has been a very exciting and personal journey filming MERKATO. I found a deeper insight in my own culture that was grounding and rewarding. I am so grateful for such a vibrant experience. I want to make this film & photo book because I have always loved this market; the smells, the people, the colors, the chaos! It just gives you an incredible feeling and I want to experience this with you.

:::MERKATO::: takes a personal journey through one of the largest & oldest open air markets in Africa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). From the perspective of five personal stories a reflection emerges of a fascinating place that is a true microcosm of the human condition. The culture and way of life for many of Merkato’s merchants is under threat by modern development. MERKATO is the final portrait of the people who LIVE, WORK and DREAM within this rapidly transforming reality. 

MERKATO PHOTO JOURNAL/ merkato.onsugar.com