Coming Together

7th February-1st March 2020
Rostockgata 2-4

Performance Friday 7th February 7pm, food and music from 8pm
Seminar Friday 14th February 1-4pm – How should independent artists organise?
Manifesto launch Friday 21st February

Berhanu Ashagrie, Tesfaye Bekele, Henok Getachew, Robel Temesgen, Helen Zeru

“The recent major political reformation in Ethiopia has created a situation where, professionals started to experience a certain level of hope towards the collective becoming. ‘Coming-together’ is a collective art project developed on the basis of care and concern, to respond to the ongoing creative and political situations. Five artists from Addis Ababa, who are also actively working as educators, organizers, writers and performers will stay and work in Oslo for a three-week period. Kunsthall Oslo will be an active space for performance, workshop, think-tank and discussion on and around the question of coming together and how the desired ‘We’ can be constructed and maintained. Following the opening performance, an evolving exhibition will accompany research activities, discussions, workshops, public events, archive works, and crafting of a program for a new artists’ organization to be formalized in the year 2020. Throughout the exhibition, different creative individuals will come together from Addis, Oslo and other places to explore possibilities on what can be shared and learned.”
Coming Together is supported by the Fritt Ord Foundation and Arts Council Norway.


Berhanu Ashagrie is a visual artist and an assistant professor at the Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design. He has been critically engaged with various individual and collective artistic projects inside and outside studio environment. Multidisciplinary creative outcomes of his projects have been shown in different countries; some of which are Ethiopia, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, France, Georgia, Italy, Greece, Spain, England. Berhanu has actively been working on issues that come along with modernization of urban spaces and places and the human conditions in it. Currently, Berhanu is working as an artist-researcher at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts on two years’ research project, funded by FWF-PEEK project Fund.

Born in 1982, Tesfaye Bekele grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during a shifting cultural and political landscape in the country. As a young child he began drawing art out of interest as a way to document the images in his community. In 2007 he attended the Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Fine Art(s) in Art Education.   

Henok Getachew graduated with a B.A in Art Education from Ale School of Fine Arts and Design in 2008. Since graduation, he has used techniques ranging from performance to painting and mixed media to generate his body of work. His works emphasize the history of each object and process of creation. His work touches on questions around consumerism, global climate crisis and the impact of technology on society. After graduation he helped found a unique artist collective named Netsa Art Village with ten other Ethiopian Artists in 2009, an artists collective dedicated to showcase experimental art work and engage the community with local and international art practice. Henok has exhibited and performed in many venues including Hamburger Bahnhof Museum of Modern art, German cultural Institute Addis Ababa, Berlin Kühl Hause, Asni Gallery, Alliance Ethio-Française, LIAP, British Council Dare Salaam. He has been based in Berlin since 2017.

Robel Temesgen (b. 1987, Ethiopia) received his MFA in Contemporary Art from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art and creative writing, University of Tromsø, Norway in 2015 and a BFA in Painting from ASFAD, Addis Abeba University in 2010. His practice focuses on painting and encompasses elements of performance, installation, video and collaborative projects.
Since 2010, Temesgen is a Lecturer at the Department of Painting, Ale School of Fine Arts and Design, Addis Ababa University. His work has been exhibited in Ethiopia and internationally.

Helen Zeru is a visual artist based in Addis Ababa. Her practice often begins as a healing process, dealing with personal incidents in the artist’s life. Starting as a reflection of these private themes the work often ends up entering a broader social context, touching relevant and pressing issues in the society in which Zeru lives. The current and rapid urban gentrification process occurring in Addis Ababa and how it affects the lives of inhabitants from a broad spectrum of society within the city is one such issue Zeru is currently exploring. Zeru began her practice exploring the medium of woodcut printing. She later moved into mixed media techniques and currently executes work through photography, installation, video art and performance. Zeru has exhibited extensively in Ethiopia and internationally. Exhibitions include: Public Art Screening, Kampala; Yugoslav History Museum, Belgrade; The Studios Das Weisse Haus, Vienna; EnBw Show Room, Berlin; 1stTibilis Triennial, Georgia; Independent Curators International (ICI), New York; GIZ, Addis Ababa and Modern Art Museum Addis Ababa.