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DISTALIKI (STALL)

Distaliki is the African name for the informal stalls put up by vendors at any street corner or open spaces. The term is widely used in Setswana and in Sesotho, and it refers to familiar spaces within communities in townships and villages.

This project explores the relation between these structures and their surrounding environment. They are found and mostly built in unoccupied spaces. Within their confines, fruit, vegetables and all kind of merchandise is exchanged against money. The distalikis become the centre around which an informal economy develops itself and where bonds and small fortunes are built.

In its own, as vernacular structures, their peculiar shapes and distinct architectural values are easily identifiable throughout the African landscape, and beyond.

These structures have their own identities. Creative efforts and design are put in place as counterpoints against a historic, chronic dispossession of land. The structure’s quality of non-space, in the sense of a location that exists because of its informality, the distaliki are a monument to the crucial issue of land possession.

 

 

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