Dehai News / The history of Eritrea relives through its railway

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Thursday, 30 November 2017


Published on 30 Nov 2017 in Highlights
The history of Eritrea relives through its railway

The history of Eritrea relives through its railway

The Asmara station as a metaphor for the history of Eritrea. This is the meaning of the photographic exhibition "The Station of Asmara" by Adam Styp-Rekowski, which will be inaugurated on December 8 in the historic home of Dante Alighieri of Tunis. The images give birth to a journey between the real and the imaginary in the small country of the Horn of Africa that after the Second World War lived the Ethiopian occupation and then the current hard dictatorship of Isayas Afeworki. An Eritrea with beautiful landscapes, a unique modernist art-deco architecture, with the kindness of its population equal to its own suffering. A country that has remained suspended, inert, but which continues to exist while remaining on the margins of the world.
Exhibitions: 'The Asmara Station', pictures of Eritrea in Tunis
Adam Styp-Rekowski has visited all of Eritrea. He started off the warm coast to slowly go back to the plateau. It has traced the history of this nation through its monuments and its natural wonders. But when he came to Asmara, he was struck by the station. A place that seemed to sum up all the national affairs. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Italians began the construction of the railway to connect the ancient millenary city of Massawa to the new and sparkling Asmara. The work was completed in 1911. For Mussolini it was a jewel and, together with the splendid palaces built by the best Italian architects, made Asmara a unique city, the symbol of Italy in Africa. The defeat of the regime in the early 40s has put an end to colonial power in Eritrea.
Subsequent powers have abandoned the railway as the whole country. Thirty years of war for the liberation of Eritrea have ruined him further. Only after independence (1993) did Eritrea rehabilitate the railway, but since 2000, with the closure of the country to the rest of the world, the railway has begun to operate non-continually. On the walls of the station, all these historical passages have settled, like in the rocks. And Adam Styp-Rekowski, a training lawyer who lives in Tunisia where he heads the NGO "Democracy Reporting International", caught them during his long stays in East Africa. Its exhibition will last until 12 January 2018.

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