In the 1960s, Addis Ababa experienced a construction boom, spurred by its new international stature as the seat of both the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the Organization of African Unity. Working closely with Emperor Haile Selassie, expatriate architects played a major role in shaping the Ethiopian capital as a symbol of an African modernity in continuity with tradition. Haile Selassie's Imperial Modernity: Expatriate Architects and the Shaping of Addis Ababa examines how a distinct Ethiopian modernity was negotiated through various borrowings from the past, including Italian colonial planning, both at the scale of the individual building and at the scale of the city. Focusing on public buildings designed by Italian Eritrean Arturo Mezzedimi, French Henri Chomette, and the partnership of Israeli Zalman Enav and Ethiopian Michael Tedros, Ayala Levin critically explores how international architects confronted the challenges of mediating Haile Selassie's vision of an imperial modernity.
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Research Article| December 01 2016
Haile Selassie's Imperial Modernity: Expatriate Architects and the Shaping of Addis Ababa
Ayala Levin researches architectural knowledge production as part of North–South and South–South exchange. She is currently completing a book manuscript on the export of Israeli architectural and planning models to Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire, and Ethiopia in the 1960s and 1970s. http://arc-hum.princeton.edu/people/ayala-levin
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Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (2016) 75 (4): 447–468.
Ayala Levin; Haile Selassie's Imperial Modernity: Expatriate Architects and the Shaping of Addis Ababa. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 December 2016; 75 (4): 447–468. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2016.75.4.447
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