ACRYLIC ON CARDBOARD: First-Generation / 2019 / 100 x 70cm/ MATERIAL: Acrylic, cardboard
First-Generation reflects on the integration introduction of modern education on Ethiopia’s traditional, religious form of education in the 20th century. Ethiopia has a long history of resisting direct or comprehensive foreign rule, as demonstrated even at the end of the 19th century when European powers scrambled to claim Africa for themselves. The devastation at the Battle of Adwa prompted Ethiopia to rapidly modernize its society in order to protect itself from another war. To that end, the amenities of modern civilization began being introduced into Ethiopia.
The project focuses on cultural change observed particularly due to the introduction of modern education in Ethiopia. Inspired by the stories of the first and second generation of reformist intellectuals of the early 20th century, it aims to illustrate how the implementation of Western education transformed the cultural life and character of the Ethiopian state.