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Tesfaye Urgessa at the inaugural Ethiopia Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia 2024

Tesfaye Urgessa is representing Ethiopia at the 60th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia 2024. Renowned author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay OBE FRSL has been selected as the curator for this significant milestone in the country's artistic history.

Lemn Sissay is a poet, author, curator and broadcaster. He is the first Chancellor of Ethiopian Heritage in the United Kingdom and served at The University of Manchester from 2015 to 2022. In the mode of Concrete Poetry, his public art work began with 'Hardy's Well' in Manchester in the mid 1990's. Over time, 'Hardy's Well became a beloved landmark of the city. From Manchester, his Landmarks spread across the country, to London and to Addis Ababa.

'Prejudice and Belonging' presented at the first Ethiopian Pavilion, reflects over a decade of Urgessa's study and artistic exploration throughout his time in German and onto his return to his hometown of Addis Ababa. Underscored by his personal experience of migration, Urgessa's artistic practice became a powerful means of expressing the complexities inherent in displacement and cultural identity.