Project for the preservation of the ruins of Mogadishu’s historic center have mapped architectural heritage of the city for digital restoration to understand the past. Versione italiana QUI
Mogadishu the capital of Somalia was the scene of the devastating civil war of the 90s. What remains today of the historical buildings and monuments of the “pearl of the Indian Ocean” are mostly empty ruins often inhabited by refugees. The historic center, now an off-limits area, with its Cathedral, the mosque and the hotels are just a memory.
But today thanks to the project “Somali Architecture (SA)” the architectural heritage of the city has been mapped and digitally restored. The project for the preservation of the ruins is led by a team of Somali architecture students from England, Italy and the United States. The goal is to digitally rebuild Mogadishu to understand how it worked once and to see what were the old historical buildings of the city to relive the story, if not from a physical and material point of view, at least on a virtual level.
So far the team has produced 15 3D models including the Cathedral, the former parliament, the national theater, the monument of the unknown soldier and the Mogadishu lighthouse.
“I want you to learn from our past – according to Yusuf Shegow, co-creator of the work team – rebuilding these structures is not so much a process of learning but rather of emotional desire for a home that has never been. I left the house but the house never left me. “
These animated digital reconstructions are developing at a time when Somalia undergoes a political, economic and technological transformation in a delicate transition moment where some memorial sites and government offices have already been renovated, while the first memorial monument of the post-civil war was erected in memory of the dead of the tragic attack in October 2017.
Shegow and her team hope to organize an exhibition in July to showcase virtual models in order to draw more attention to the reconstruction of Mogadishu. They would also like to involve the Somali government for sustainable urban planning.
“It’s an important project – says Shegow – especially at a time when many Somalis are trying to understand the past to reimagine their future. There is hope. “