Revenants, 2019, from the series archival photos. print on matt photo paper, from digitally reproduced and artist-manipulated photograph Anthropological Archives, 165 × 112cm each, wendimagegn belete.
This body of work contains old celluloid photographs and portraits taken by a Westerners during the colonial era. Specifically, images with an intimate gesture of individual faces of Ethiopian unanimous patriots, and indigenous people that stood with contested costume. I appropriate and elevate these photos through a physical act of hand colorizing and bodily engagement, exploring the tactile potential of photography. The process intend to bring the past into present to open important dialogue and an attempt to undo the digital onto a more organic naïve approach. these people have been photographed and their images have also been used in the commercial world and when the images reproduced multiple times things get lost in translation. the archival photographs carried a symbolic and ambivalent meaning. I enlarge the scale of the images colorize them and disrupt the portrait into a more subjective black face to add a f haunting quality, empowered it to tell a collective story