MIXED MEDIA: Screen memory / 2019 / 29 x 21cm/ MATERIAL: acrylic, masking tape, cardboard
2019 - Ongoing
The Artwork examines how newly created public spaces, particularly on social media, have influenced everyday communal relationships in present-day Ethiopia. Facebook played a crucial role in Ethiopia’s 2015-2018 anti-government protests, as participation on it and other social media platforms among Ethiopian youth both locally and in the diaspora created more opportunities for candid self-expression. At the same time, such spaces have cultivated the rise of misinformation, the spread of fake news from fake accounts, speculative arguments, radically contradictory historical narratives among educated classes, political extremism based on ethnic identity, hate speech, and general outrage, all of which have weakened new developments for socio-political change and productive relationships between Ethiopians. Therefore, my Artwork showcases how relationships in virtual communities have shaped not only current political transition in Ethiopia but also the cultural and ethical behaviour of young Ethiopians, particularly in newly formed politicised groups that have grown under the ethnolinguistic administrative and educational framework instituted in the 1990s.