Tsedaye Makonnen is a multidisciplinary artist whose studio, curatorial, and research-based practice threads together her identity as a daughter of Ethiopian immigrants, a Black American woman, a doula, and a mother. Makonnen focuses on the transhistorical forced migration of Black communities across the globe and Feminism. Her work is both an intimate memorialisation and a protective sanctuary for Black lives.
Many of Makonnen’s thematic concerns relating to migration and transnational Black experiences come together in Senait & Nahom. The towers are composed of individual mirrored cubes, each of which bears the name of a Black womxn whose lives have been cut short by systemic and institutionalised racism, patriarchy and forced migration. Makonnen uses the names of 50 Black womxn for the 50 illuminated cubes, each of which is accompanied by a written booklet memorialising the lives of these womxn.
Makonnen is the recipient of a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, DC Public Library Maker Residency, and Art on the Vine’s Savage-Lewis Artist Residency, Martha’s Vineyard. She has performed at the Venice Biennale, Art Basel Miami, Chale Wote, Accra; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Fendika Addis Ababa; FIAP, Martinique; Queens Museum, New York and the Smithsonian, Washington DC, among others.