refraction ( ... in breath )

october 30, 2020 | GOJO residency | curated by sarah bushra

betelhem abebe | dawit seto | eyob teshome | hamdiya sherif 
solomon kifle | yasmin abdu bushra

refraction is an exhibition-in-progress presenting the works of six resident artists, betelhem abebe, dawit seto, eyob teshome, hamdiya sherif, solomon kifle, and yasmin abdu bushra following their creative and collaborative process during the inaugural residential program that took place from aug-sep 2020. contemporary nights is excited to launch the process driven, collaborative centered exhibition curated by sarah bushra. refraction, an exhibition-in-progress exists connected and fractured across various online and physical forms, one of these spaces is the following viewing room. the exhibition, as a moving showcase, traveling across media, and through time (as a work in-progress), relates to the current migration of art, as a tidal wave towards the virtual culture. mapping the fissures of art and exhibition making in addis ababa, in the time of the 2020 pandemic and protest, refraction is born. 

Facing our Time

Januray 31. 19 | Alliance Ethio-Francaise

Heran Tadesse | Elsa Mudler | Surafel Amare | Betelhem Demeke | Genet Demissie | The Green Manalishi & Tsion Fisseha | Yonatan Ayallew | Hamdiya Sherif

“Finally, we are artists because we are interested in the future.
we are interested in contributing to and helping to shape what people in 100, 200 or even 500 years’ will be discussing and mulling over when they take a walk into the labyrinth of their past that is our present moment.
we are interested in how we can create the archive of the future in the present.
we are interested in what future people will find that gives them a record, a sense of this present moment.”

Bibi Bakare-Yusuf at the keynote-speech by at the third annual Abantu Book Festival in Soweto, South Africa.


“contemporary” ???

June 28. 18 | online discussion

i. Thursday, June 28, ’18 Contemporary Nights moderates an online discussion on our face- book page: Contemporary Nights – event: Contemporary Nights #006.

ii. This discussion is about the topic “contem- porary in Ethiopian context”. The aim of the discussion is to excavate how contemporary is defined/observed/experienced/embodied/- seen/spoken/written about […] in Ethiopia.

iii. This topic is very fluid and vulnerable to change. We can engage with this topic from various angles including but not limited to: Can we define contemporary? What is contem- porary Ethiopian aesthetic? What is the word contemporary in Amharic or in other Ethiopian languages?

Breaking point

May 2018 | Good Vibes Restaurant

Solomon Mengist | Dawit Seto | Sarah Bushra | Biniam Getaneh

Breaking points are critical moments that mark transitions and instances of change. In this edi- tion of CN# the audience is invited to join a journey of conflict and reconciliation in the process leading up to and following these criti- cal moments. Performances foster situations that allow breaking points to happen and the audience is requested to participate in varying degrees of immersion.

In between

April 26. 18 | Addis Fine Art

Jessie Brett | Solomon kifle | Solomon Mengist
Hanna Terefe | Sarah Bushra

What is between right and left, the love and hate within a home, the sender and receiver of a letter, between human and robot, what is the middle area? How do we define it? Why does it exist?


Mar 29. 18 | Italian Institute of Culture

Sarah Bushra | Solomon Mengist | Hamdiya Sherif
Eyob Teshome | Dawit Seto

Boundaries play different roles in our lives. They hinder, contain, restrict or revert. Bound- aries produce reactions from us as we encoun- ter them. At times we concede other times we resist barriers placed in front of us. Setting up 5 boundaries en route, this exhibition reveals our yielding and revolutionary traits.


February 22. 2018 | Alliance Ethio-Francaise Addis Ababa

Dawit Seto | Wondemagegn Mekonen | Jessie Brett Tofa Desalegn | Eskatnaf Habtyimer

In crossings we are invited to experience the many faces of courage as these artists dare to traverse into new territories within the story of their art. A patriot treads heavily between the past and present realities of his country, fight- ing the tight grip memory has on his current perception. Within a well-crafted prank, we see a comedian struggle to communicate the sincerity of his request to a love interest. Trapped within the effects of technology two insurgent contemporaries transfigure their understanding of technology from being a crutch to an extension of their limb.


Jan 25. 18 | Goethe-Institut Addis Ababa

Abdul Mujambyre | Dawit Seto | Yirga Terefe and Habtu Tewelde
Biniam Berhanu | Selam Demelash |
Jessie Brett

In the inaugural session of Contemporary Nights, we explore “movement”. We watch, hear, read as dancers, photographers, writers, and filmmak-ers grapple with the concept of movement. Be it movement in time, or movement of the body on stage, or flight of a lover in a story —  we discover how artists from different media express, then redefine our understanding of movement.