Foreign Affairs II

Baerbel Mueller
Architecture, [applied] Foreign Affairs
2021S, Seminar (SE), 4.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S02404


Tamale Territories

The rapid and sprawling growth of the metropolitan area of Tamale in northern Ghana has led to the merging of the built environment with the coexistent tree savannah and agricultural landscapes. Tamale is the capital of Ghana’s Northern Region and one of the fastest-growing cities in West Africa. Tamale can be characterized by its horizontality and the presence of peripheral urban conditions embedded in the fabric of the city. In this sense, it can seem both vacant and dense. However, when looking at these open territories more carefully, one can find that the ‘vacant’ is in fact not at all vacant. Rather, this anthropocentric definition deserves questioning. Investigating Ghana’s third-largest urban center through an ecological, multi-species, non-anthropocentric lens allows for new ways of understanding urban ecologies and urban change in the predominantly agricultural setting of northern Ghana. Tamale Territories is focusing on inner city ‘peripheries’ in Tamale, Ghana, that illustrate the urban scenarios described above. As with many territories in Ghana, these areas are contested politically, functionally, and environmentally, making them an important focus point not only for our investigative project but also with relevance to the city and its inhabitants.

This semester is ongoing work, concentrating on the postproduction and editing of the investigations of the previous semester, and the onsite research done in Tamale in February 2021. Participants will continue to develop an investigative thesis on the characteristics of these environments. Diverse visual media such as narrative and architectural drawings, photography, video, and computational methods will be used to develop a work that communicates the spatial, temporal, and multi-species scenarios encountered in Tamale’s internalized peripheries.

[a]FA teaching by Baerbel Mueller (Vienna, Tamale), Juergen Strohmayer (Accra, Tamale)

in collaboration with the Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art (SCCA) and the University of Development Studies (UDS), in Tamale, Ghana


Lab dates:

October 2020 / Interviews Applicants

November 2020 – January 2021 / Research phase in Vienna, Austria

February 01 – 26, 2021 / Field lab in Tamale, Ghana

March – June 2021 / Postproduction and editing in Vienna and Tamale (via Zoom and physical)

September 2021 / Exhibition in Tamale Architecture 


No application for new participants possible this term

Course Enrolment

Via online registration

co-registration: possible

Architecture (Master): Expertise: Instrumentarium: Supplementary Subjects

Individual courses: possible