Momentography of a failure  is a participatory research and photography project that seeks to develop a concept of participatory citizenship by curating photo-essays by local residents, practicing interdisciplinary collaborative creation and digital non-profit publishing.
By using an  App as a digital mapping tool, it invites professional and non-professional photographers and urbanists, as well as city-dwellers, to explore the failure(s) of a particular district in various contexts: Urban Space, Politics, Environment, etc.
Momentography of a failure books curate photo-essays through workshops, collaborating with experts from different disciplines and inviting local residents to rethink the potentials and problems of their neighborhood, recycle the collective memories of the district and speculate on the possibilities for appropriating space in those places through photography.


Momentography of a failure calls photographers, urban researchers, activists, writers, drivers or couriers, to participate in a collaborative research and photography workshop to be held September 16th to 20th, 2020 at the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) in Cologne.
Open call (ENG)
Open call (DEU)


The workshop in Addis Abeba

An intersection of diverse cultures and backgrounds, Addis Ababa is a city that has been undergoing a massive change for the past decade. Newly erected infrastructures, a controversial master plan and the question of housing has been riddling the city for a considerable amount of time

The workshop in Addis Ababa observed the transformative space of the city with a particular focus on the question of urbanization in the Eastern periphery of Addis Abeba with topics such as emerging and disappearing spaces, inner-city migration and commoning in public space.

The workshop aimed to use the concrete geography and the architectural layouts as well as the social life of individuals as a starting point for an allegorical narrative about the urbanization of Ethiopia and its effects on local and global contexts.

The workshop addressed Urbanists, professional and non-professional photographers as well as dwellers of the different areas.

It was co-lead by Nafiseh Fathollahzadeh, photographer, in collaboration with Daniel Kötter, filmmaker and Bisrat Kifle, Urbanist. The workshop was coordinated by Maheder Haileselassie, photographer and founder of CPE.  The Project is funded by ECCE.


©Bemnet Teklemariam

© Yero Adugna

©Tsion Haileselassie

©Bemnet Teklemariam

Momentography of a failure is a participatory research and photography project which seeks to develop a concept of citizenship through practicing forms of appropriation, collaborative research, and participatory photography. In a series of workshops, we use the Android/iOS smartphone app as a digital mapping tool which enables users to create augmented visual and textual layer on the world map. We observe particular districts in each city together with experts from different disciplines and residents of the area to explore the failures- problems or potentials- of the districts by mapping them in a variety of contexts such as Urban space, labor Rights, racism, etc.

Our workshop in Berlin has provided background on the history of urban planning and changing the socio-spatial environment of Marzahn and Hellersdorf districts. We explored construction during the post world war era, particularly since the 70s when the social housing and central planning under the Wohnungsbauprogramm transformed Marzahn to the largest prefabricated housing settlement in Europe. The workshop included excursions through Marzahn and Hellersdorf area exploring different perspectives to the post-socialist developments and everyday life together with the residents of the district.

Towards understanding the fragmented and segregated spaces of the area, we further discussed the academic studies on the area- ranging from social and economical critical papers about developments after the Wende, to case studies on different Plattenbau types. It was followed by discussing various approaches towards documentary photography, discussing indexicality and performativity, photography as speech act and appropriation of space by means of research, digital mapping and photography.

The workshop held by Parham Mortazavian urban researcher together with photographer Nafiseh Fathollahzadeh in a collaboration with Barbara Klage, Thomas Klage, and all the participants. This project is supported by BLO Ateliers and ECCE.

The workshop in Gelsenkirchen observed the transformative space of Gelsenkirchen as a Post-industrial city. In particular, our research was focused on the southern district, Ückendorf and its diverse socio-spatial space. Together with experts from different disciplines and residents of the district, we explored the different architectural structures of Ückendorf with visiting mine workers settlements, brick houses, Gründerzeit (years of industrial expansion in Germany at the end of the 19th century) houses and new-build solar settlement. The field research was combined with lectures and film screenings on the case study. These conceptual inputs lead to gain an understanding of industrial & post-industrial conditions which has been characterized the cityscape.
It was followed by discussing various approaches towards photography. Our focus was on the appropriation of space through photography, working with found footage, the relation of perception and cartography and indexicality and performativity in photography.
We provided a variety of found materials such as a postcard collection for participant’s creative exercise. Participants exchanged their ideas and interests in groups to develop a photographic project which was accompanied by reviewing and submission of the photos.
The works shop was held by Nafiseh Fathollahzadeh, together with Ole Kristian Heyer, Geograph and artist in a collaboration with Architect, Monika Güldenberg, and Alicia Ludwiczak from Stadtteilbüro Gelsenkirchen.