Over the course of its history, Mogadishu has been influenced by the diverse cultures of its various rulers, residents and visiting traders; a combination of influences that strongly informed the city’s subsequent social, cultural and physical characteristics. However, Mogadishu’s pre-civil war architecture and built form largely owes its morphology to the region’s former colonial power, Italy, the last of the European powers to join the ‘scramble for Africa’.
Forgotten Pasts and Distant Futures is an installation that charts the urban transformation of Mogadishu, from the late 19th century to the first few decades of the 20th century. The unique, site-specific presentation in Swiss Cottage Library – one of London’s iconic modernist buildings – allows, for the first time, a broader audience to engage with this aspect of the city’s history. The project is designed and curated by P.E.A.R. co-editor Rashid Ali.