Curriculum Vitae

Berhanu Ashagrie Deribew

Berhanu Ashagrie is a multidisciplinary artist and an assistant professor at the Alle School of Fine Arts and Design, Addis Ababa University, where he also held the position of Director for nearly four years from 2012 to 2016. His passion lies in engaged pedagogy and collaborative knowledge production, a commitment that has led to the organization, facilitation, and hosting of numerous local, continental, and international initiatives spanning education, art, and research. An active participant in various international art festivals, exhibitions, and conferences, Berhanu's artistic journey centers on themes of dispossession, explored through extensive research and process-oriented practices, often taking place beyond the confines of a traditional studio environment. Currently, Berhanu is deeply engrossed in an ongoing artistic research endeavor delving into the concept and practices of mourning, viewing it as a multifaceted aesthetic, pedagogical, and political language. Berhanu is a Ph.D. In-practice candidate at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.

Main Works

  • October 2020 to date: University Assistant (Ph.D. Candidate), Vienna Academy of the Arts, Vienna / Austria
  • Since January 2017: Assistant Professor at the Alle School of Fine Arts and Design, CPVA - Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • March 2018 – April 2020: Researcher at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna / Austria
  • June 2012 - March 2016: Director of the Alle School of Fine Arts & Design, CPVA - Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • October 2010 - June 2012: Assistant Director at the Alle School of Fine Arts & Design, CPVA - Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • October 2006 - August 2009: Assistant Lecturer at the Alle School of Fine Arts & Design, Addis Ababa University, CPVA - Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • September 2005 - September 2006: Graduate Assistant at the Alle School of Fine Arts & Design, CPVA - Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia

Main Education

  • Starting from October 2020: Ph.D. in Practice Candidate at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna / Austria
  • April 2014: Higher Diploma for Teaching in Higher Institutions, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • August 2010: Master of Arts in Fine Arts; Artistic Research, Utrecht Graduate School of the Arts, Utrecht / Netherlands
  • July 2005: Bachelor of Fine Arts (with Gold Medal), In Visual Communication / Printmaking, Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts & Design, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia

Main Artistic Projects

  • 2021 – One Belt – Many Roads, (Collective project) Grammar of Urgencies, Vienna /
  • 2019: Care and Become, Interdisciplinary artistic project, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • 2016: Traces of Impact, History/Archival Project, Vienna / Austria
  • 2016: The Citizen, the Nomad, and the Immigrant, Interdisciplinary Project, Vienna / Austria
  • 2014: Temporality (Installation Art Project), Berlin / Germany
  • 2013: The-City-is-The-People (Interdisciplinary Artistic Project), Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • 2011: Melting Spaces (Public Space Intervention), Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • 2010: Space-Placement … Place-Displacement (Interdisciplinary Public Space Art Project) Netherlands & Ethiopia

Main Exhibitions

  • 2021 – Home is, The Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon / Israel
  • 2020 – Grounded in Movement, WNDX Festival of Moving Images, Winnipeg / Canada
  • 2020 – Coming-together, Kunsthall Oslo, Oslo / Norway
  • 2020 - Experimental Film Festival – Found Footage, ULTRAcinema, Oaxaca / Mexico
  • 2019 – Culture in Motion - VIDC, hinterland gallery, Vienna / Austria
  • 2019 – Special School, X Hibit, Vienna / Austria
  • 2019 - 2019 – Dispossession, Willful Weeds, and World-Making from the Ruins, Performance and Film Screening, MUMOK Vienna / Austria
  • 2019 – Africa as Concept and Method, GKDC-Modern Art Museum, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • 2017 – Ethio-Color, Fendika Cultural Center, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • 2016 – Migratory Video art Festival, A.P.T. Gallery, London / England
  • 2016 – International Video Arts House Madrid, IVAHM, Madrid / Spain
  • 2015 – New Home, Addis Video Art Festival, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • 2015 – The Enigma of the New and the Modern, mumok, Vienna / Austria
  • 2013 - The Enigma of the New and the Modern, Modern art Museum (GKDC), Addis Ababa / Ethiopia

Main Research Projects

  • 2020 - Coming-together in Mourning: Indigenous Knowledges and Embodied Practices in Search of the Politics of Solidarity, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia and Vienna / Austria
  • March 2018 – March 2020: Dispossession: Post-Participatory Aesthetics and the Pedagogy of Land, collective research project facilitated by Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and Funded by FWF-PEEK project, Vienna / Austria
  • Since 2019: Squares Re/p/l/a/y/ced, Ongoing multidisciplinary collaborative project focusing on the function of squares beyond the everyday, Ethiopia / South Africa / Switzerland / England
  • 2018: Babel Replay, Collaborative Multi-disciplinary and Cross-cultural research Project, Ethiopia / England / South Africa / Switzerland
  • 2014: Acting Archives, joint institutional research project with the Institute for Spatial Experiments – Berlin Art Academy, funded by the TURN fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia and Berlin / Germany

Conferences, Workshops, Presentations, Residencies

  • 2021: (Contributor) Looking Forward - Looking Back, Symposium - Multiple Artistic Mobilities, Zurich University, Zurich / Switzerland
  • 2020: Smart Culture Conference, European Artistic Research Network (EARN), Utrecht / The Netherlands
  • 2020: (Invited Artist) Festival of Walking Terms, (Online walking performance) Joint European Universities, Different places.
  • 2020: (Keynote Speaker) International conference on Artistic Research and Decolonizing Knowledge in Africa, Wits School of the Arts, Johannesburg / South Africa
  • 2018: (Keynote Speaker), ELIA International Biennale Conference on Resilience and the City Rotterdam / The Netherlands
  • 2017: Creative Hustle (Trainer), British Council, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • 2016: Artist in Residency (Invited Artist), Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna / Austria
  • 2016: The City & Displaced Imaginaries (Presenter), VBKO, Vienna / Austria
  • 2015: Telling Time (Participant), Bamako Biennale, Bamako / Mali
  • 2015: Southern Panoramas (Panelist), Video_Brasil, Sao Paulo / Brazil
  • 2015: Commoning and Artistic Practices (Seminar Co-chair), European Forum Alpbach, Alpbach / Austria

Publications, Editorships, Articles

  • 2020: Co-editor of the Book, Despite Dispossession – An Activity Book, Research project publication of Dispossession Project at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria. Printed in 2021 at K-Verlag Publishing, Berlin
  • 2017: Contributed an article ‘Making Sense of Confined Urban Realities’, for Suppersuit International Public Space Performance Project Publication, Austria
  • 2017: Researcher and Peer Reviewer of an article on Brutalist Architecture - an exhibition, catalogue and online publication to be organized by the German Architecture Museum, Frankfurt / Germany
  • 2012: Context Editor of a Book, Eshi Addis Ababa by Michaela Meise, Printed in 2012 at Lösch Medien Manufaktur, funded by Hessische Kulturstiftung, Germany
  • 2015: A text ‘Artistic Practices and Memorial Representations’ for the online publication of ‘Future Memories’ International Conference, Berlin / Germany
  • 2015: A text ‘The White Man I Met on the Stairs’ for a Book, ‘Turning Thinking in to Doing in to Art’ on the four lectures given by Olafur Eliasson in Addis Ababa, by Olafur Eliasson and Institute für Raumexperimente, Printed in 2015 at Central Printing Press, Ethiopia


  • 2016: Founding Member, Urban Services Professional Initiative, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • 2015: International Jury Member, UN Live Museum Project, Copenhagen / Denmark
  • 2015: International Jury Member for Addis in Motion research and artistic project, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • 2014: International Jury Member, African Union Monumental Art project, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • 2013: Jury member of Fana Wogi, Annual Art Competition / Exhibition, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia
  • 2012: Founding Member of Ethiopian Artists Association, Addis Ababa / Ethiopia