No democracy, No aid

ACRYLIC ON CARDBOARD: No democracy, No aid / 2019 / 100 x 70cm/ MATERIAL: Acrylic, cardboard

The Artwork examines administrative structures and frameworks in 20th- and 21st century Ethiopia. An immediate catalyst for the research is the rapid growth of ethnic-based conflicts and massive internal displacements in Ethiopia after the country’s political transition in 2018. At various levels, such conflicts have largely stemmed from the dominant culture’s long-standing prejudice against other ethnic groups, a repressive political culture, an ethnolinguistic administrative framework carried over since the early 1990s, and its implications for a largely ethnic-conscious youth population. The work attempts to understand those conflicts by examining past and present administrative arrangements that have shaped and transformed contemporary Ethiopia. The map drawings trace key elements of structures and frameworks from provinces, called taklai ghizat during imperial times, to regions known as kifle hager after 1974 into a present-day regional state, or kilil.