»Macht braucht Platz!« Eine Untersuchung des Meskel Square in Addis Abeba, Äthiopien
Autor: Markus Christopher Mariacher
[erschienen in: IMAGE 26 (Ausgabe Juli 2017)]
The article examines the process to involve power relations increasingly in spatial phenomena. Power needs space in form of a square; logistically seen for the stagings of the mass, as well as through the political-symbolic and iconographic logic of the system square. The central square – as the icon of a city – is the visualised history and the envisioned political situation of a country. Understanding the allocation and shaping of urban space as a question of political intentions enables the decryption of power relations. The study focuses on a nuanced approach to figure out, how the analysis of a central square makes conclusions possible about the demonstration of power in authoritarian states. No place is more significant in the (contemporary) history of Ethiopia than the Meskel Square in its capital Addis Ababa. How has the demonstration of power manifested itself at this point in its genesis to the present? This approach provides a novel contribution to a differentiated understanding of the central square as a visual metaphor for the socio-political shaping of a country respectively of a city.