Story of Us

The history of Ambaradan is intertwined with the story of us. Interval starting from a meeting point of two classmates, our common interests brought us together. With the experiences we had and discussions, we started to develop our methodology of discussion, venturing into different topics and initiatives. The real start was in a curatorship course that revealed our enthusiasm for all things related to museums, art, and culture. It was the professor of the course, Peter Assmann, that pointed to us how it was such an interesting coincidence that brought two women from different backgrounds and with similar passions to this small renaissance town in Italy, Mantua. His words left us with a hint that we should do something about it, yet it took many years and countless discussions to finally bring forth the birth of Ambaradan.  The choice of Ambaradan as a designation maybe needs some explanation. We intend to use that word for chaos. However, beyond its meaning, we decide ‘Ambaradan’ because it represents otherness in a way that how complexities and contradictions are sometimes referred to (transferred) as words in other languages.

The etymological roots are based on interrelation between Italy and Ethiopia.  Ambaradan is a word that is used in an everyday
context and is cut off from its roots, displaced roots that come from the hills of Ethiopia, that is mainly forgotten today. It is a word that has many layers that represent what we want to unfold.

What is Ambaradan

ambaradàn s. m. [etymology uncertain, but probably to be connected with Amba Aradam, a mountain range in Ethiopia where, in 1936, a
bloody battle of the Italo-Ethiopian war took place]. –  1. Confused and chaotic situation, chaos. 2. Very complex activity, the leadership of which requires commitment and considerable organizational skills.

Name Philosophy

The word Ambaradan came as a description of a genocide that happened in Ethiopia in 1936, in the Amba-Aradam mountain, a site of
resistance. It came to describe a messy situation. We understand that the roots come from a gruesome past that is not remembered when the word is used today, but we felt that it was necessary to highlight how language evolves and history is forgotten. It is vital to use the word today in a context that remembers and honors the resistance.

Amal Muntaser, 1992 Denmark, architect/researcher. Sudanese native, raised in Sudan. Currently resident in Italy. After she achieved her graduation in Khartoum, she participated in a leadership program in the USA and another in Kenya. Over four years of living, studying, and working in Italy, she developed several academic interests, particularly in cultural heritage and anthropology. She is in the process of Ph.D. applications and is working as a collaborator in Aditus Cuture in their event management section.


2016-2019  Politecnico di Milano, Architectural Design and History, Master’s Degree

2008-2014  University of Khartoum, Architecture, Bachelor’s degree

Esra Nesipoğulları, 1991 Turkey, architect/ multidisciplinary artist, born and raised in Turkey. Currently resident in Italy. She accomplished two residencies in Toulouse and Marseille during the period of her B.Arch. In 2013, she had been granted to travel to Cuba for research about the use of semi-public spaces in the socialist context.  Later on, working for over two years in several architectural design studios, in London, Istanbul, and continually in Mantua, she started her professional practice in the art and curatorial field in 2019. Her works often respond to personal stories in cultural and political contexts.  Apart from Ambaradan Think Tank, she is also a member of Art Dream Collective.


2017-2020  Politecnico di Milano, Architectural Design and History, Master’s Degree

2009-2015  Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Architecture, Bachelor’s degree