Meskerem Assegued

Meskerem Assegued is a curator, anthropologist, and writer. In 2002, she co-founded and directed Zoma Contemporary Art Center (ZCAC) with Elias Sime, an internationally renowned artist . Together, they purchased a series of land adjacent to one another and transformed them into Zoma Museum. Since 1998, Meskerem curated numerous exhibitions in Ethiopia and abroad including Giziawi #1, an art happening in Addis Ababa (2002); Divine Light by David Hammons at ZCAC (2003); Green Flame, the visual art exhibition of the New Crowned Hope Festival directed by Peter Sellars in Vienna (2006); Curvature of Events, a video art exhibition at the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (2014 – 2015); Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery in New York (2015); Johannes Haile: With Different Eyes at ifa Berlin and ifa Stuttgart (2016 – 2017) Abel Tilahun at the Katzen Art Center of the American University, Washington DC and the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa (2018). She co-curated Eye of the Needle Eye of the Heart by Elias Sime with Peter Sellars at Santa Monica Museum of Art and North Dakota Museum of Art (2009 – 2012);

A 2016 recipient of France’s Knight of the Order of Arts and Letter award, Meskerem was a member of the selection committees of the Dak’Art Biennale (2004), Venice Biennale African Pavilion (2007) and Spier Contemporary (2010).

Over the years, she has organized several workshops at ZCAC including International Association of Art Critics (ICA) (2006), Where Do We Go From Here? (2011) Independent Curators Intensive (ICI) (2014), and Souvenirs From the Future with Rhode Island’s Design School (2017).

In 2002 Meskerem was one of the participants at the African Museums Professional Workshop organized by the Museum of Modern (MoMA). Since then MoMA invited her to participate at the 2014 and 2016 curatorial workshops. In 2010, she was one of the participants and speakers at the Curating in Africa Symposium at Tate Modern. In 2014 she was a speaker at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) at the Of Africa project.

In 2019, the Ethiopian Prime Minister visited Zoma and commissioned Meskerem and Elias to transform a large section of Unity Park or the Emperor Menilik’s Palace into an artistic tourist garden. Once the project was finished, he commission them to do similar projects in different parts of the country including the art school in Addis Ababa. Currently, they are building a village with eight buildings and terraced garden at Entoto Mountain, one of the most tourist attractions of the city. They are also renovating the landscape of an old historic palace in south-eastern Ethiopia.