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Harn’s Museum Nights features film screening, interactive experience


GAINESVILLE, Fla. –– During the Harn Museum’s Museum Nights on April 12 at 6 p.m., filmmaker and professor Salem Mekuria will screen her film “IMAGinING TOBIA” (2006) and discuss her recent work during a Harn Eminent Scholar lecture. Visitors also will enjoy the MUSE Interactive Experience “Is that Art?” at 7 p.m. Gallery discussions, games, activities and performances by the Museum University Student Educators (MUSE) will examine the ideas of whom and what defines art. Refreshments will be provided.

IMAGinING TOBIA is a triptych video installation on display at the Harn Museum until May 6, in conjunction with the Museum’s other Ethiopian exhibitions, “Continuity and Change: Three Generations of Ethiopian Artists” and “Art of the Ethiopia Highlands” from the Harn Museum Collection. Mekuria had been previously scheduled to discuss and screen her work on Feb. 15, but inclement weather forced the rescheduling of the event.

IMAGinING TOBIA serves as a mirror to reflect the issues confronting the nation throughout its multifaceted history. Salem Mekuria explores her native land using the camera as a roving eye and contrasts topographic images of the lush southern landscape and the forbiddingly rugged but starkly beautiful north. The film, intended to counter unexamined perceptions of the country, interweaves visual images with text, oral tales, poetry and music.

For a number of years, Mekuria worked with NOVA, a PBS premier science documentary series, and has produced several award-winning documentaries films. Besides “IMAGinING TOBIA,” Mekuria has written, directed and produced four other international film productions including “YE WONZ MAIBEL (DELUGE),” “SIDET: Forced Exile,” “As I Remember It” and “Our Place In The Sun.”

Now based in Boston, Ethiopian-born Mekuria teaches art history and studio courses in film history and video production at Wellesley College. She also remains an active film producer, writer and director.

The Harn Eminent Scholar Series is organized by the School of Art and Art History through the Harn Eminent Scholar Endowment and is co-sponsored by the Harn Museum of Art and UF International Center


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