Seminar: The Quantum Leapers


Tuesday, June 27, 2023, 6:00pm to 7:30pm


I Tatti

Speaker: Yemane Demissie (I Tatti / NYU)

The Quantum Leapers, filmmaker Yemane Demissie’s forthcoming multimedia project, engages with the buoyant and tumultuous experiences of Ethiopians during the Emperor Haile Selassie I era (1916-1975).  Drawing from narratives of more than 500 interviews and thousands of images and documents that Yemane assembled from the interviewees’ collections and dozens of international archives, the project considers how the 1935-1941 Italo-Ethiopian War & Occupation compelled the country to reevaluate its age-old traditions in the face of war, fascism, and modernity.


In this presentation, Yemane will present stories revolving around the airplane—long an emblem of modernity—to explore the interlinked lives of four individuals who confront, embrace or glide with the sudden and immense transformations brought about by invasion, occupation, and liberation.


Yemane Demissie is an educator and filmmaker whose work includes two narrative feature films and two feature documentaries. He is a tenured full professor in the Department of Film & TV at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Currently, Demissie is making The Quantum Leapers, a multimedia project about Ethiopian modernity and independence during the Emperor Haile Selassie era. He has received significant recognition for his work including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Berlin Prize, and the Locarno Film Festival Production Grant.  Demissie was also a resident fellow at numerous residences including at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, MacDowell, Civitella Ranieri, Yaddo, the Bogliasco Foundation, and the Dora Maar House.

Please note: due to copyright reasons, images in the presentation may not be photographed.

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