SQUARE STORIES  |   IMAGinING TOBIA  |   RUPTURES  |   YE WONZ MAIBEL: Deluge  |   SIDET: Forced Exile  |   AS I REMEMBER IT  |   OUR PLACE IN THE SUN

imagining tobia

IMAGinING TOBIA is a triptych video installation synchronized to present vivid images of the Ethiopian cultural and physical landscapes.

 September 2007 is the beginning of Ethiopia's Third Millennium. In celebration of this milestone, I offer IMAGinING TOBIA as a mirror on which to reflect issues confronting the nation, and as a space in which to meditate on the disjunction between our "real" and imagined knowledge of Ethiopia and its multi-faceted history.

 As an Ethiopian-American I examine my own gaze on my native land as I take in impressions of the variety and diversity of the landscape and its people. In this way, TOBIA (a vernacular pronunciation for Ethiopia) represents a travelogue recorded by a hybridized explorer's camera, then layered and juxtaposed in infinite ways to create a multitude of meanings and associations. The triptych is a reference to Ethiopia’s traditional religious art.  By inviting viewers to engage with fast moving images on multiple channels I show the simultaneous existence of the old and the new while giving primacy to images over words. 

EXHIBITION:

Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla, 2006-07
"Continuity and Change: Three Generations of Ethiopian Artists" The Harn
Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, 2007

CREDITS

Writer/Producer/Director/Videographer - Salem Mekuria
Editor - Rachelle Dang

Funded by BIACS2, Wellesley College Faculty Awards, and the McNeil Program for Studies in American Art.

Excerpts from “My Country” a poem by Gebre Kristos Desta.


IMAGES FROM IMAGinING TOBIA


Poster for IMAGinING TOBIA

 

contact nandita ahmed

For DVD sales information please contact:
Salem Mekuria
salemm@gmail.com