Manifesta 11 Parallel Event: Making a living from old shoes
The European biennial for contemporary art MANIFESTA visits Zürich this year with the motto “What People Do For Money”. In their contributions, participating institutions and artists ask for the meaning that work and professions have for us as individuals and as members of society.
The Ethnographic Museum at the University of Zürich participates with an exhibition about the life and work of street vendors in Tanzania as an official Parallel Event to the Manifesta.
For thousands of street vendors in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, our used shoes are the means of existence. They support their families by selling this second-hand merchandise. The exhibition Making a living from old shoes – Tanzanian street vendors as urban experts presents results from 15 months of fieldwork with a group of shoe vendors.
The challenges that street vendors face in their daily work routine are demonstrated in the exhibition with the computer simulation Sole City. Visitors slip into the role of a street vendor, choose a shoe from a heap of physical shoes, scan it in for the simulation, and subsequently try to sell it with profit on the virtual streets – without being caught by the police.