Anita Nicole Bateman F'19

Anita Nicole Bateman
Independent Scholar
Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Duke University

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2019
Doctoral Candidate
Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Duke University
Ethiopia in Focus: Photography, Nationalism, Diaspora, and Modernization

This dissertation examines photographic representations of Ethiopian identity. It focuses on Emperor Haile Selassie I as a recuperative figure in Pan-African contexts, images by court photographer and later London studio portraitist Shemelis Desta, and contemporary works created by Ethiopian artists in the diaspora one generation after the Derg’s collapse. Exploring visual processes that concern, inform, and confront the practices of photographers working at the intersection of ethnic identity and nationalism, this dissertation scrutinizes Ethiopian artists’ views of the importance of their work to their country and to the African diaspora in conjunction with opposing historical narratives adopted by black nationalists, and alternatively, white imperialists in the early twentieth century.