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Ethiopian Religious Imagery in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Ethiopian Religious Imagery in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
WhenThursday, Oct. 31, 2019, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Campus locationCommunications Building (CMU)
Campus roomCommunications 202
Event typesAcademics, Lectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsUW School of Art + Art History + Design's Division of Art History, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, African Studies Program and the Simpson Center for the Humanities

Raymond Silverman
Professor, History of Art, African Studies and Museum Studies
University of Michigan

Images painted on the walls of churches, in parchment manuscripts and on the panels of icons, have played a vital role in sustaining the Orthodox Christian faith in Ethiopian communities for a very long time. Over the centuries, pictorial practices introduced from abroad or developed locally have mixed with traditions associated with Byzantine and Early Christian art, first introduced to Ethiopia over fifteen hundred years ago. It is a creative process that continues today, fueled by the social, political and economic dynamics of one of the world’s most vibrant societies. Indeed, the visual culture of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has over the last fifty years experienced a remarkable transformation that includes new devotional practices as well as a heightened preference for naturalistic interpretations of religious narratives—a new “religious realism.” This afternoon’s talk examines these contemporary visual practices and the cultural milieu from which they emerged.

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