A postcard from Addis: Ethiopian modernism(s) in the world

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores Ethiopia’s internationalist positioning in the 1960s and the role of art within it through the divergent worldly engagements of Afewerk Tekle and Skunder Boghossian by pursuing what Karima Laachir, Sara Marzagora and Francesca Orsini call “significant geographies". It contributes to histories of modern art in Africa that increasingly address transnational engagements, whilst also being attentive to the aspiration that Ethiopian artists’ global presence amplified their nation as a new center. The 1967 Congress of the Ethiopian Students Association in North America went as far as to state that “oppression, poverty, disease, illiteracy, feudalism and imperialism cannot be eradicated from Ethiopia without a total liquidation of the existing system.” In the year of Bier’s visit, therefore, Ethiopia’s three leading modern artists, Afewerk, Skunder and Gebre Kristos, were all in Addis, digesting their various overseas experiences and pursuing distinctly different modernist projects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew histories of art in the global postwar era
Subtitle of host publicationmultiple modernisms
EditorsFlavia Frigeri, Kristian Handberg
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780367140854
ISBN (Print)9780367140847, 9780367721541
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2021

Publication series

NameStudies in art historiography


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