Tahir Carl Karmali


Tahir Carl Karmali’s project investigates building vernaculars and makeshift tools created in refugee camps in East Africa. The project is rooted in research and criticality of the function of these camps in the wake of climate change. As the research developed over the past year, the project started to discuss notions of concretization of these camps and buildings with more permanent materials in resource-scarce areas.

Since 2019, the project has changed and developed further with the research. It now broadly discusses new concrete buildings that are built on arid land to contain mostly displaced Muslims. From learning that most of the refugee camps in Dadaab and Kakuma in Kenya have begun to create permanent structures, Karmali started looking at other structures in China and India that are built of involuntarily displaced people, most of which are Muslim. The project is still in research and development with plans to start testing and making later this year. 

Tahir Carl Karmali (b. 1987, Nairobi) is an artist based in Brooklyn since 2014. His work spans photography, installation, papermaking, sculpture, and sound.