Salem Mekuria

Professor Emerita of Art


Independent film producer, writer, director and video installation artist who teaches film history and video production.

Salem Mekuria is a professor in the Art Department at Wellesley College. She is also an independent writer, producer, director, videographer, and a video installation artist. Her award winning documentary films and video installations feature Ethiopian subjects and have been shown internationally. Among the numerous honors she has received are: a Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 2005-06; Fulbright Scholar award, 2003-04; The New England Media Fellowship, 2001; the Rockefeller Foundation's Intercultural Media Fellowship, 1995; Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest International Artists Residency Fellowship in 1993; a fellowship at the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, Harvard University, 1990-92; the Massachusetts Artists Foundation Award in 1991.

Her works include:

"SQUARE STORIES" (2010) Triptych Video Installation re-members Maskal Square, a massive concrete expanse and the largest public space in Addis Ababa, as a site of commemoration, offering it as a way of witnessing multiple, fragmentary histories of Ethiopia’s present and recent past.

"IMAGinING TOBIA" (2006, 2007) Triptych Video Installations exploring Ethiopian cultural and physical landscapes.

"RUPTURES: A Many-Sided Story" (2003) a Triptych Video Installation Exhibited at the 50th. Venice Biennale, Italy.

"YE WONZ MAIBEL" (DELUGE) (1997) a one hour personal essay on history, conflict, loss and reconciliation. Told through a first person narrative it explores the momentous events which took place in Ethiopia between 1974 and 1991.

"SIDET: Forced Exile" (1991) a one hour film documentary portrait of three Ethiopian/Eritrean refugee women in the Sudan. It was filmed on location in the Sudan and was completed in 1991.

"AS I REMEMBER IT", A Portrait of Dorothy West (1991) is a 56 minutes portrait of the late Harlem Renaissance writer, Dorothy West. It was broadcast on WGBH Public Television in Boston in September, 1991.

"OUR PLACE IN THE SUN" (1988) a 30 minutes video portrait of the Black community on Martha's Vineyard Island. Broadcast on WGBH-TV in February, 1988, and was nominated for an Emmy.