Our planet will be facing massive population growth in the coming years. Africa alone is projected to see its population doubled by 2050, with another 1.3 billion inhabitants. This growth will mainly take place in cities, many of which are already struggling to provide basic infrastructural services. Set on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, Anbessa gives us an intimate human perspective on the effects of rapid urbanisation and modernisation. The film follows 10 year old Asalif and his mother that live on the edge of East Africa’s largest housing development with no electricity or running water, displaced from their land and way of life to give space to the new condominiums and their promises of a better future. With magical realism the documentary follows Asalif’s struggle to find his place in the uncertain terrain of an inescapably new world. After the film there will be a 30 min. discussion on the environmental and social challenges, along with the opportunities, brought on by the urgent need for rapid urbanisation with a particular focus on East Africa. Discussants will be geographer Seble Samuel (East Africa officer, Research Programme for Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security) and urban anthropologist Stina Møldrup Wolf (Aarhus University). The event will be in English.
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