Salem Mekuria Delivers The Fall 2015 Distinguished Faculty Lecture: "The Passion to Create and the Urge to Share"

October 28, 2015
Image of Professor Salem Mekuria with her lecture title overlaid, "The Passion to Create and the Urge to Share."

Artists are often motivated by a desire to share their perceptions with others and by their explorations of the media that filter and amplify their vision. "All artists work hard, often in isolation—but they make art so that they can share it with the world," said Salem Mekuria, professor of art. Mekuria delivers the Fall 2015 Distinguished Faculty Lecture today, sharing her observations on inspiration and the creative process in a talk entitled "The Passion to Create and the Urge to Share."

As an artist and educator, Mekuria said she "straddles worlds and cultures that are diverse and often at odds with one another," yet she believes that her different roles inspire and inform each other. "This lecture offers an opportunity to share my observations through my documentary films and video installations, as well as my perspectives on teaching and art making," she said.

In addition to teaching at Wellesley, Mekuria, who splits her residence between Ethiopia and the United States, works as a writer, producer, filmmaker, and artist. She is the director of the independent film production company Mekuria Productions, and her award-winning documentary films and video installations featuring Ethiopian subjects have been shown internationally.

Mekuria's subject matter is close to her heart. She said she is drawn to the stories of African women, and she feels a responsibility as an African woman to utilize her access to filmmaking—a discipline to which few in Africa have access—to bring attention to the lives of those on the continent and in the diaspora. "I focus on women’s stories because women are even less privileged," said Mekuria. "And, these stories are my stories too."

"As a world-renowned teacher, scholar, and film producer, Salem represents the very best that Wellesley has to offer our students," said President H. Kim Bottomly. "I look forward to the lecture and to hearing Salem's perspectives on how she uses her art to tell powerful stories of women and explore themes of justice and equal rights."

The Distinguished Faculty Lecture was established in 1999 to provide an opportunity for the College’s most accomplished and respected faculty members to deliver a public lecture that helps the community reflect on the meaning of a liberal arts education. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, starts at 12:30 p.m. in Collins Cinema today, Wednesday, October 28.