TREATIES AND GIFTS OF SHIFTING WILLS — Quinsy Gario’s work looks at colonial legacies and investigates the barriers to openly discuss these histories. For RESET he dug into Italy’s colonial past and found a startling connection with the present day refugee crisis. By attempting to colonize Ethiopia Eritrea was created. Currently the second largest group of refugees reaching European shores is coming from this former Italian colony.
The performance was inspired by the Treaty of Wuchale of 1889 between Abyssinia, modern day Ethiopia, and Italy. The document written up for the newly crowned Negus Menelik II (read: dagmäwi minilik) and King Umberto I led to the First Italio-Ethiopian war because of a single verb. The Ethiopian victory at the battle of Adwa secured its sovereignty.
The document written up for the newly crowned King Menelik II and Umberto I led to strife because of a single verb. The performance looks at the language and the translation of the treaty and its lasting effect. Gario is performing together with his brother, Jörgen Gario.
Gario will be performing with his brother. Quinsy Gario is a student Master Artistic Research of the Royal Academy of Art The Hague.
PHOTO CREDIT — Adua Memorial or the folly of Imperialism (2007) by A. Davey on flickr; Presentation at Court, The Highlands of Ethiopia (1845) by Dickinson & Sons in the Schomburg Center for Research into Black Culture; Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New york Public Library.