apexart :: Ethiopia: A Reenactment Through Fiction and Image


The Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, Warscapes Magazine, and apexart present:

Ethiopia: A Reenactment Through Fiction and Image

Wednesday, March 27: 7-9pm
at apexart

A photographer, a filmmaker, and an author talk about human rights issues in Ethiopia.

Photographer Eric Gottesman will share selections from his project Baalu Girma about the assassinated Ethiopian author, and filmmaker Yemane Demissie will screen clips from his film Dead Weight. A discussion about these overlapping themes will be moderated by Maaza Mengiste, the critically acclaimed author of Beneath the Lion's Gaze.

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.

Eric Gottesman is a photographic artist, a teacher, and an 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 with Nets 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.

Please join us.
Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

apexart's exhibitions and and public programs are supported in part by the Affirmation Arts Fund, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Edith C. Blum Foundation, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.

291 Church Street, NYC, 10013
t. 212 431 5270

Directions: A, C, E, N, R, W, Q, J, M, Z, 6 to Canal or 1 to Franklin.