“O my friends, there is no friend” 2013 - 2014

This project was developed during my studies at the 'Dutch Art Institute - School for Art Praxis (MFA at ArtEZ), Arnhem, NL'

Part of Roaming Research Academy / Travelling Communiqué: From Belgrade, September 5, 1961

Tutors and Guest Tutors in Arnhem: Doreen Mende, Theo Eshetu, Samia Henni, Jelena Vesic. Armin Linke, Kodwo Eshun/ the Otolith Group, Milica Tomic. Framework by Doreen Mende
Guest Tutors in Addis Ababa: Elisabeth Giorgis, Salem Mekuria, Abiyi Ford and Fasil Giorghis. Production & research assistant: Helen Zeru.

Museum of Yugoslav History
Exhibition from June 10 to August 17 2014
With Film Programme and Summer School

more info at

Image ONE
Haile Selassie and Tito on beach
collage 2014

Image TWO
Date: Jul 23 1954
Lokacije: Beograd
Etiopski car predaje poklone predsedniku Titu i njegovoj supruzi u Starom dvoru

Ethiopian emperor handing gifts to President Tito and his wife in the Old Palace
© Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgrade.

'O my friend, there is no friend' this quote of Jacques Derrida's ‘Politics of Friendship’ was one of the starting points of my research into the (political) friendship between president Tito and Haili Selassie. I’m interested in the relationship between fact and fiction and identity as a performative (political) element. In my project I’m questioning the staging of a (political) friendship and the use of facts and document within an art context and the way we read these photographs. I was looking for pictures and symbols where this political performance chances into a more personal/ informal friendship. For my research I looked for several allegories of the formal/ informal friendship.

Date: Jan 29 1968
Lokacije: Adis Abeba,
Poseta Etiopiji: u Gradskoj ve?nici, gde je predsednika Tita pozdravio gradona?elnik Adis Abebe K.Z. Gebre Hivot

Visits Ethiopia to City Hall, where President Tito greeted by the mayor of Addis Ababa, KZ Gebre Hivot
© Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgrade.

On the 5th of March 2014, I walked around the roundabout of the Yekatit 12 monument in Addis Ababa. This monument was given to the emperor Haile Selassie by Tito, the president of Yugoslavia in 1955 as a sign of their friendship. The monument represents the thousands of innocent Ethiopians killed by the Italians as retribution for the attempt on Viceroy Granziani’s life on 19 February 1937. ‘Yekatit 12’ is a date in the Ethiopian calendar roughly equivalent to February 19th. I walked in circles observing daily life through my camera lens. The monument today is “for your eyes only.”

Watch full video performance https://vimeo.com/136703440

Image FOUR
Date: Dec 14 1955
Lokacije: Adis Abeba,
Boravak u Adis Abebi tokom zvani?ne posete Etiopiji: u prolazu kroz grad, predaja povelje po?asnog gra?anina Adis Abebe i klju?eva grada

Stay in Addis Ababa during an official visit to Ethiopia in passing through the city, handing Charter honorary citizen of Addis Ababa and the keys to the city
© Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgrade.

No one is allowed to set foot on the monument ‘Yekatit 12’ since it is surrounded by a blue plastic fence. The monument sits still and overviews daily life around it: King George VI street, Russia street, Algeria street. Life continues around it in circles. Day, night, day, night. When a monument is built in a public space we tend to forget the historical event around it because we give it an actual place in society. Eventually it fades away in the city landscape. Is this monument today still a symbol of friendship?

Image FIVE and Image SIX
Film still from performance Addis
On the 5th of March 2014

Unfold Magazine made in Addis Ababa 2014

Contribution Unfold Magazine made in Addis Ababa 2014

 Haile Selassie and Tito on beach   collage 2014 
 1954_30_091 Date: Jul 23 1954    © Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgr 
 1968_359_0106 Date: Jan 29 1968   © Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgr 
 1955_50_0096 Date: Dec 14 1955   © Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgr 
 Film still from performance Addis   On the 5th of March 2014 
 Film still from performance Addis   On the 5th of March 2014 
 Unfold Magazine   made in Addis Ababa 2014 
 Unfold Magazine   made in Addis Ababa 2014