‘Remembering Ethiopia’: A Photo Essay

February 25, 2014

“To live ‘elsewhere’ means to continually find yourself involved in a conversation in which different identities are recognized, exchanged, and mixed, but do not vanish. […] Our sense of belonging, our language, and the myths we carry in us remain, but no longer as ‘origins’ or signs of ‘authenticity’ capable of guaranteeing the sense of our lives. They now linger on as traces, voices, and memories that are mixed in with the other encounters, histories, episodes, experiences.” 

— Ian Chambers (1994) Migrancy, Culture, Identity.

My graduate studies have been dedicated to the deconstruction of cultural identity and the understanding of its mechanics. Nations are ‘imagined communities’, borders are a political construct, identities a product of socialisation. I know these things. But I also know that my life has been organised and shaped by my connection to and relationships with Ethiopia, despite the fact that I’ve only ever vacationed there. It’s the quintessential diasporic story.

This photo essay includes a selection of images I took in Ethiopia while travelling there for my doctoral fieldwork in 2013. This was not part of any data collection, but rather, the moments and encounters in between. They were the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes I knew I would want to remember when I left.

This photo essay is published on the Oxford Diasporas Programme website. To view it, please click here.


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