MA Studies > Fine art > Fine art alumnus > Bernahu Ashagrie Deribew

Bernahu Ashagrie Deribew


The recent world order has been developing possibilities for economical, cultural and social integration throughout the glob more than ever. Trade, information, communication, migration, expatriation and tourism have been taking place across national borders, borders that are becoming less important than they used to be. No matter where we are now or where we came from; it’s possible to say that we all are nomads in this era of globalization. On the other hand, these uncontrollable advantages and disadvantages of the recent world order has been growing homogenized consumer culture which in turn is triggering angry retreats in to cultural or national identities. How can we develop a certain level of happenstances to make a movable mold for our understanding of identity, in a way that could make sense of our nomadic life?

Is identity something that we can decide on? How can we resist, forget, reject or mythologize our Identity crisis in this era of globalization? In which the eco of transnational cultures have been surfing through every cultural and economical spaces. Is identity the essence of our existence or it’s something that could be optional according to time and space? No matter whether the notion of identity may or may not be an option, how deep can we go to reshape our understanding of identity? What and how can we improve our ironically ambivalent relationship with the concept of identity and the process of globalization at the same time, in which we found ourselves embedded?

The rapidly changing environment on trade, information and communication made the time faster than it used to be recognized. It’s possible to say that we are living in a continuous rush hours and becoming out of time to distinguish what belongs to us and what to others, because time and space requests us to live faster than ever before. So that we all are running through different paths in order to fulfill our endless needs and to fit in the recent world order, which is not an option at all. This state of cultural and economical transformation or transgression has been developing Cultural dissonance and a certain level of incapability to deal with recent cultural models in which one can resist or reject identity crises. How can the recent world order and cultural and economical realities invest on each other in order to be understood in their deepest sense from existing social structures?

Life goes on with its own2flow by cutting off other flows, and history is surfing through time and space,3as it is nothing but a single line moving forward across the page of time, time in which we are moving as an entity to precede history through the recent shape and form of the world, a shape that continuously denies permanency and stability, a shape we are constantly expected to reshape ourselves to fit in, a shape which has to be traced and continuously mapped and remapped, no matter whether we are leading history or history leads us to keep going forward. We are expected to keep rediscovering ourselves by tracing and understanding recent transformations or alterations which have been taking place on cultural and economical terrains. 4Defining our identities through translating ideas, transcoding images, transplanting behaviors, exchanging rather than imposing. Investigating and exposing social realities which may or may not be noticed throughout our continuously-booked routine, which has always been rescheduled through information and communication, as an advantage or disadvantage of technological advancements.

Through documenting and developing elements through my creative process, I want to reshape expectations through 5symbols, maps and signs as a mediator and regulator of our relationships with others and with ourselves and thus change the nature of these relationships by reusing and misusing, displacing and replacing, deconstructing and reconstructing understandings through the advantage of mediums. Constructing our identities by deconstructing our understandings and expectations. Making steps of shaping ourselves by reshaping our relationship with the environment that surrounded us. And developing possibilities to modify and relocate cultural elements and recent concepts by separating them from their context and recharging them with other meanings, which could be direct or indirect reflections of the recent world order, in a way that could create moments to analyze, criticize and understand our flexible identity and the history of here and now that has been going along with our immediate footsteps.

By taking extra steps of investigating the differences of similarities, which have been continuously developed through economic globalization and its nature of homogenized consumer culture, magnifying the so called fossilized cultural differences in creative ways and putting them on open stage as a means of communication in order to develop possibilities to resist, forget or reject the notion of identity crisis. Furthermore, analyzing, mapping and exposing the subjective reality of the world, in which we are living through time and space and capturing the here and now moments to create possibilities to question, understand and sustain what should be sustained through our cultural and economical terrain.

Berhanu Ashagrie