The social and political tensions that underline Solomon’s explorations of Ethiopia’s tensions are not overt. Regional instabilities rooted in inherited hierarchies could well be their concern, or might it be the swelling religious tensions that continue to pressurise rural communities. In Solomon’s gentle woodcuts, the ambiguity of location, which is often flattened, neutralised and nondescript, reveals nothing except the artist’s apparent refusal to illustrate or oversimplify the complexity of his environment. Upheaval and displacement play a significant role in the highly polarised rhetoric of Ethiopian politics, especially in the behaviours and mobilisations under ethnic federalism. Seemingly conflicting interests of traditional hierarchies, divided by generational and gender lines, have lead to systematic oppressions and inequalities based on historic ethnic affinities.

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