A Warscapes Event

Warscapes Magazine, Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund and apexart 


Ethiopia: A Reenactment Through Fiction and Image

image courtesy ©Eric Gottesman

This evening of fiction, photography and film will feature artists addressing issues of history, freedom of expression and human rights in contemporary Ethiopia. 

Wednesday, March 27th, from 7-9pm

@apexart, 291 Church Street, New York, NY

Photographer Eric Gottesman will share selections from his project Baalu Grima and filmmaker Yemane Demissie will screen clips from his film, Dead Weight. Discussion will be moderated by Maaza Mengiste, the critically acclaimed author of Beneath the Lion's Gaze.  

Admission is free and open to public. 

About the participants:

Eric Gottesman is a photographic artist, teacher and organizer. His work usually employs local strategies of display and addresses themes of participation, politics, identity, translation, transnationality, pedagogy, portraiture and authorship. Many of his projects examine the long-term psychological impact of mass trauma. He has received an Aaron Siskind Fellowship, an Artadia award, a Massachusetts Cultural Council award and a Fulbright Fellowship in Art. In 2011, Gottesman and Toleen Touq organized the apexart Franchise exhibition We have Woven the Motherlands of Iron in Amman, Jordan. In Baalu Girma, he addresses the repercussions of Ethiopia’s Derg regime through the life and fiction of Baalu Girma, an Ethiopian writer who was assassinated in 1983 after completing his novel, Oromai. Gottesman’s work explores the Ethiopian author's life through re-enactment and documentary imagery that imagines the characters in Girma’s novel. He is currently an artist in residence at Amherst College. 

Maaza Mengiste was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and lived in Nigeria and Kenya before settling in the United States. Her debut novel, the critically acclaimed Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, has been translated into several languages and appeared on several “Best of 2010” lists. The book was also selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, BBC Radio 4, Granta, and Lettre International, among other places. She is a Fulbright Scholar who has also received fellowships from the Emily Harvey Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Prague Summer Program, and Yaddo. Her new novel, set during the early days of WWII, tells the story of Fascist Italy’s invasion and occupation of Ethiopia and the army of Ethiopian men and women who confront them. 

Yemane I. Demissie is an award winning independent filmmaker who has received numerous awards for his work including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Walter Mosley award for Best Documentary and the American Film Institute’s Filmmaker's Grant. His films include two narrative features, Tumult and Dead Weight and a documentary, Twilight Revelations: Episodes in the Life and Times of Emperor Haile Selassie. Currently, Yemane is producing The Quantum Leapers: Ethiopia 1930-1975, a six-part documentary series focusing on Ethiopian social, artistic, intellectual, political and cultural history during the Emperor Haile Selassie era. He is also developing …and then the rains return, a narrative feature film set during the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic, a worldwide catastrophe in which over fifty million people lost their lives. Yemane teaches directing, writing, production, and film history and criticism in the Undergraduate Department of Film & Television at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.