My creations are heavily influenced by the exploration of queerness within the African diaspora and the erasure of Black trans identity both on the continent and around the world. Creating art that holds myself and other trans BIPOC through visual storytelling. Visual storytelling to me is visceral, more often than not our stories are appropriated, told by outsiders, and fed back to us at a cost. My work is my experience and one that I hope connects, holds, and heals those who need to see themselves outside of the white gaze.
My book Mesob is named after the Ethiopian table used for sharing food. It’s created using a straw box that resembles a traditional mesob, printer paper, testosterone vials, tape, and wax thread. My book is a collection of euphoric moments I have experienced through the past few years, especially over the past year of quarantine. In my culture food is a very intimate and communal process. We all eat from the same plate and eat with our hands, participating in gursha, where we feed one another by hand. The loose pages are me hand feeding parts of my life that I prize, the rolled up pages represent the injera we tear from to eat. These are moments that nurture me and the third roll of paper is an interactive piece for people to share their own moments that are euphoric. The vials represent my personal euphoria, the third roll does not include a vial to completely immerse the reader into their own definition of euphoria. As a non-traditional book it forces the viewer to handle this knowledge with care, to return the “pages” back in place with the inclusion of dates on each piece and to have each roll have the process of unwinding the wax thread and rewinding it.