February 22, 2008

Amharic Art & Our Lessons

Amharic truly is a beautiful language so not surprisingly it serves as the base, or inspiration, for various renowned artists. One of these artists is Wosene Worke Kosrof, an Ethiopian painter who incorporates Amharic into his works. He was born in Ethiopia in 1950 and currently resides in California. In his paintings Wosene distorts the written symbols of the Amharic language to create beautiful works of art that reflect his Ethiopian heritage as well as his life experiences in the US. His biography found on www.wosene.com states, "The Ethiopia that finds expression in Wosene's art is at once culturally specific in its visual vocabulary, highly personal in its interpretation, and international in its outlook, reflecting the complex realities of contemporary artistic practice in a global society."

We'll continue to seek out prominent Ethiopians and learn about their influences on world art, culture, education, science, politics, and more and are anxious to share this knowledge with our child one day. Our child's identity is going to develop much like Wosene's art, influenced by both Ethiopia and the United States and undoubtedly beautiful.

"The symbols bring my culture to me and at the same time I recreate my culture with the symbols, producing a unique international visual language."
~ Wosene Worke Kosrof

Wosene Worke Kosrof Colors of Words II, 2001

As for our Amharic lessons, we're getting there. Not very quickly but we do learn more each week and some of the basic phrases are even starting to flow more smoothly when we practice. We're in the midst of getting about a foot of snow today so that should give us an excuse for some extra practice time while we're stuck indoors. 27 days till spring! So far we can meet, greet, say goodbyes, count, and indicate what we "like" or "have" for a handful of vocabulary words. If anyone ever asks me if I like or have a chicken beware - I know how to respond! (affirmatively at least, we're still working on the "no" responses as there isn't actually a word for "no" in Amharic rather a complex redesign of the subject/verb structure in the sentence...yeah, this isn't going to be easy!)

As for all of your offers in our last post to take over the traveling baton, THANK YOU! Please, enjoy your vacations/travels and we'll keep our fingers crossed that your return will bring another batch of referrals!


Amanda and Andrew said...

I have never heard of him before, thank you so much for sharing. His work is beautiful. Unfortunately we haven't spent much time dedicated to our study of Amharic. I've been reading what I can of the book, but time's been a hot commodity lately.

I've searched all around this island and nobody here is able to teach Amharic to my husband and I. He's going to be getting a Rosetta Stone DVD soon.
Hopefully that'll help us.

Children's Hope International said...

I love the art!! Thanks.

Jen N.