The Names We Bear

I am a photographer, archivist and editor based in the DC Metropolitan area. My photo-based work explores my own Ethiopian-American ancestry through the lenses of womanhood and collective memory.

The Names We Bear is an ongoing series of digital collages using photographs of my mother’s family in Ethiopia dating back as early as the 1940s to the 1970s. I’ve scanned and archived over 300 photographs, negatives and slides and used my family’s oral history along with my own imagined reality of the subjects, some of whom I’ve never met, as the basis for selecting which images to combine and superimpose. Not many people of my parent’s generation in the Diaspora have this wealth of old photographs, due to lack of resources or the displacement of personal items during exodus. Reworking these images allows me to make sense of the stories I’ve been told over the years, from the carefree moments to the tragedies.

© Yodith Dammlash - Figure; 2015; digital collage

Figure; 2015; digital collage

© Yodith Dammlash - Namesakes; 2015; digital collage

Namesakes; 2015; digital collage

© Yodith Dammlash - Four; 2014; digital collage

Four; 2014; digital collage

© Yodith Dammlash - Evening; 2016; digital collage

Evening; 2016; digital collage

© Yodith Dammlash - Blue; 2014; digital collage;

Blue; 2014; digital collage;

© Yodith Dammlash - Brothers; 2014; digital collage

Brothers; 2014; digital collage

© Yodith Dammlash - Calm; 2015; digital collage

Calm; 2015; digital collage

© Yodith Dammlash - Dawit; 2015; digital collage

Dawit; 2015; digital collage

© Yodith Dammlash - Dream; 2014; digital collage

Dream; 2014; digital collage

© Yodith Dammlash - Elleni; 2015; digital collage

Elleni; 2015; digital collage

© Yodith Dammlash - Sisters; 2014; digital collage

Sisters; 2014; digital collage

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