© 2016 by Salem Mekuria All Rights Reserved

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PERSONAL STATEMENT

For me filmmaking is a way of being curious about the world I live in. It points me toward personal inquiry. Through my scholarship and film work I join the community of international artists and filmmakers who are committed to questioning and exploring the power of visual representation, especially as it deals with representations of the history and memory of post-colonial identities. My work as a filmmaker and scholar is motivated by the need to find effective ways of communicating the stories and themes of exile, difference and the struggle for justice and equal rights. I am keenly interested in processing these narratives through the stories and experiences of women in Africa and the African Diaspora and am committed to representing these stories as challenges and journeys that are specific but also as universal experiences that can speak to all viewers.

FILM WORK

 

In Progress:

  SQUARE STORIES EPILOGUE:  The third and last installment of the Square Stories Trilogy,  this installation will complete the series by documenting

      the completion of the light rail transit system and its impact on the life of the people and events at Maskal Square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

     AWRA AMBA'S (E)UTOPIA:  A story of a community in Northern Ethiopia where a genuine “utopia” is thriving in a little village called Awra Amba. Forty

      years ago a small group of people led by a charismatic young man came together to establish a community based on true equality in all aspects of

      life, where there will be no difference in treatment based on gender, class or age, where no organized religion has a place, and where all people

      would work together to support each other and care for the weak among them.

    ​ WE RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE (working title) A documentary film that is in progress explores the introduction of criminal Sharia law in Northern

     Nigeria and its impact on women’s rights. In 2001 and 2002, two women were accused of adultery and sentenced to die by stoning. The film will use

     these two cases and the courageous legal defense by Nigerian activists that saved the women’s lives, to present the ongoing struggle to promote and

     protect women’s access to equal opportunities and protection under the law. The film will emphasize women’s voices and their struggle for

     empowerment, and will evoke their strong influence on Nigerian politics, history and culture.

Completed: 

 
FELLOWSHIPS & GRANTS:

Independent Television Service (ITVS), a program of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; The Luella LaMer Chair of Women’s Studies, Wellesley College; The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University; Fulbright Fellowship; Numerous Faculty Awards, Wellesley College; LEF Foundation; National Black Programming Consortium, CPB; Rockefeller Foundation, Intercultural Media Fellowship; Lila Wallace– Readers Digest International Artists Residency Program; Bunting Institute, Radcliffe College, Harvard University; The Massachusetts Artists Foundation; The Women’s Project; United Nations Development Program for Women; The Anson Phelps Institute, New York, NY; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; United Nations High Commission for Refugees; Global Fund for Women; WDR-TV, Germany; Paul Robeson Fund; Foundation for a Compassionate Society; Massachusetts Council for the Arts; Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities; Massachusetts Arts Lottery.