Asmära: Portraits of a Contemporary City

Autori: Dawit Abraha, Nelly Cattaneo, Cinzia Monopoli, Hielen Tekeste Berhe
In: Africa. N.S. IV/1, 2022
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The manifold photographic reportages and books about Asmära published in Europe, mainly since 2000, and the 2017 nomination of the city as World Heritage Site, have disseminated its iconic buildings dating from the colonial period (1890-1941) worldwide. Eritrean singers and songwriters have dedicated many songs to Asmära, which are shared worldwide through video platforms. Are the images of the city conveyed by songs and videos similar to the ones internationally proposed, or not? The contribution aims at outlining the issue of shared heritage in the contemporary context, by focusing on Eritrean points of view on Asmära and resorting to the local cultural production in the fields of music and video-making. The goal is to chronologically and topographically broaden the internationally shared image of Asmära and to include narrations by its own inhabitants and by people who acknowledge the city as the main place of both their memories and their cultural roots.

keywords: Urban landscape; Eritrean diaspora; Cultural heritage; Musical production