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Merkato is a colorful vibrant film/installation work that solidified my point of view as an

artist, cultural worker and documentarian. The film journeys through the largest Open-

Air market in Africa, exploring five delicate human stories faced with eviction at the helm

of modern development. In the installation, I created a mock of the actual market in a

pop-up location. This allowed audiences to engage deeply with the narrative of the film,

photography and soundscape in the physical space. Gaining support from cultural

institutions such as The Leeway Foundation to create the installation around this project

allowed me to reach a greater impact on my community. I invited local open air vendors

to the installation screenings to share their similar experiences of gentrification in

Philadelphia. This was a powerful demonstration of social change that continues to

inspire to me to use my films and photographs to engage our communities with larger

cultural social issues.

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