Addis News Paper – ongoing
The Chinese Issue – January 2050
By Robel Temesgen
Today, we mark the 101 years Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. In this context, we celebrate the successful completion of the ‘One Belt One Road (OBOR)’ Mega project, a year long program that has been launched to celebrate OBOR. As part of the celebration, a closing program of archival exhibition titled ‘Looking Back: One Belt One Road, 2013 – 2049’ is set to open in January 2050 in Hong Kong. Robel Temesgen, a 63 years old Ethiopian artist, is commissioned to be part of the exhibition where he revisits his newspaper Project (which started in 2014). Since the artist haslived throughout the duration of the project, we commissioned him to look back and forth between his youth, where Chinese and Ethiopian relationship had its pick, and his later carrierwhere tremendous advancements have taken place in terms of technology, economy as well as the world power order. Using an old standing medium of calligraphic publication on paper, the purpose of his work is to look back and critically reflect on what has been perceived as an ambitious project in 2010s.
As such, a retrospective engagement with the newspaper in this exhibition is aimed to capture China’s longstanding ties with countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Commonwealth of independent states over the years. Content wise, the newspaper’s focus ranges from projects before, during and after OBOR to reflect on yet another ambitious Project, One Planet One Orbit (OPOO). OPOO is a fifty years project expected to be launched in 2053. It aims to develop infrastructures with the rest of the planetary.
This original version of the newspaper is written in Amharic, which is the artist’s birth language (it used to be called mother tongue thirty years ago) and one of the 70 Official Languages of China. At a later stage, the newspaper shall be translated to other official languages of China like Chinese, Indian, Serbian and Italian.
As part of the public events, the artist will do a reading performance on February 4, 2050.
Photos by Naod Lemma