Installation view/ Video portraits of 3000 Ethiopian patriots, collected from rare 16mm video footages
Year of production -2016/2017
Duration - continuous loop
3 channels HD video and no sound
Total installation size 13 x 2.5 m
Video portraits of 3000 Ethiopian patriots, presented together in a continuous loop,
This work is inspired from the anti-colonial war/ resistance that happened in Ethiopia between 1935 and 1941 which had a significant impact on history, and yet it’s been mostly forgotten. Before the outbreak of the Second World War, Benito Mussolini wanted an empire and revenge for Italy’s defeat at Adowa in 1896, and decided to invade Ethiopia. Unlike all the other African countries, Ethiopia was never been colonised. The Ethiopians said no to colonialism and resisted the invasion with antique rifles and traditional weapons. During those 5 years Ethiopians were brutalised and killed in the hundreds of thousands. The sacrifices that Ethiopians patriots made and the solidarity shown during the war is the foundation for many other African anti-colonial movement, black movement, black panthers etc. This story happened long before the speech of Martin Luther King: “I have a dream”; even before Rosa Parks refused to obey a bus driver to give up her seat in the coloured section to a white passenger. This is a story that the Ethiopians won in the end, setting an example for the rest of the world, to those who seek freedom.
With the collected footage and rare 16mm videos from several sources, I have finally come up with this video installation. The whole body of the video installation work includes cropped videos of portraits of 3000 unanimous Ethiopian patriots, presented together in a continuous loop.