ART: Mogadishu – Lost Moderns

Posted by Caroline Lofts


The Mosaic Rooms present Mogadishu – Lost Moderns, the first exhibition to explore Mogadishu through its architecture and urban environment,narrating the story of Somalia’s journey from traditional African nation via colonisation and post colonialism to emergent independent state. This trajectory may be familiar to Africa but its manifestations are not: how was Mogadishu created as a modern African capital?

Challenging familiar mainstream images that depict the city solely as a place of conflict and destruction, Somali-British architect Rashid Ali and British photographer Andrew Cross offer a unique account of what remains of the city’s urban fabric and key modernist symbols after two decades of civil conflict. These specially commissioned photographs are presented alongside rare archival photographs, not yet presented to the public, which document the city’s architecture under Italian colonial rule.


TALK – 13 MARCH 2014, 7PM

Join architect Rashid Ali as he discusses the changing urban fabric of Somalia’s capital city, Mogadishu, from the early 20th Century until present day. 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. 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’.

The Mosaic Rooms
A.M. Qattan Foundation
Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road
London SW5 0SW



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ART: Mogadishu – Lost Moderns
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