INJERA WESTERNS a network of old friends, an experiment in digital storytelling and much more. We are an art project based on memories of people who grew up in Ethiopia in the 1980s. Yes, this was a time of great famine, civil war, Red Terror, and a Stalinist dictatorship and other not-so-nice things. But, as importantly, this was also a time of growing up, lasting friendship, first kisses, heartbreaks, wild parties and other such life-changing events. Time to put down our soul roots as one participant put it.
I think the untold truth of our lives is simply stranger, more poetic and more surreal than any fiction I have read or any movie I have seen. These stories need to be now heard as widely as possible. Injera Westerns works the following way:
At the heart of Injera Westerns is our private Facebook group. We have currently 501
members to it and it is here we connect with old friends and our memories. Given that we are spread all over the world, the community could be seen as a kind of a virtual campfire at Lake Langano
in Ethiopia where we exchange pictures, stories and whatever else comes to mind. Some people choose to communicate privately. This is encouraged also.
2. DIGITAL STORYTELLING
This website is the public face for Injera Westerns. It is an open journal where we will engage in an experiment in digital storytelling
. Sneak peeks and drafts of the work will be published here for the community as well as the broader public to see, comment on, add details, and lovingly criticise in whatever ways seems most appropriate. It is also where we will fundraise for the project.
3. ART PROJECT
Based on these memories, I will produce an experimental art book that combines fictionalised coming-of-age stories of children and young people with the more sinister political backdrop of this turbulent period in Ethiopian history. The book combines historical stories with a recent trip I did in the Ethiopian mountains for 3 weeks travelling across the areas where many of the key events in the 80s unfolded.