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RAS TAFARI: THE MAJESTY & THE MOVEMENT EXHIBIT in ETHIOPIA 2015
RAS TAFARI: THE MAJESTY AND THE MOVEMENT is an exhibition devoted to the celebration, preservation, interpretation and overstanding of the contributions and experiences of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I, and the Pan African Movement known by The Majesty’s early name, Ras Tafari. The main exhibition will be housed at The Ethiopian National Museum in Addis Ababa in 2015 with satellite exhibits in Shashamane and Harar. Memorabilia, rare and valuable items, century old documents and ephemera, will be included. An opportunity for 2nd and 3rd generation Rasta youth to share their recent films, books and expressions through the exhibit and ancillary events will also be provided. This is an important component of the exhibit as it allows viewers to see the continuity and further development of the Movement, after its nearly 100 years inception. The exhibition is a collaborative effort of Ras Tafari Collective of Ethiopia and the Ras Tafari International Communities, Exhibit Advisory Committee and various sponsors/supporters such as the Bob and Rita Marley Foundations, Ethiopian National Museum and D.Y.M.D.C. & Associates (Children’s Village Community Project) and the Ethiopia Ministry of Culture and Tourism amongst others.
As most may know, the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of Natural History presently houses the “Discovering Ras Tafari” Exhibit scheduled to close in November 2011. The Smithsonian has provided millions of viewers with an important glimpse into the world of Ras Tafari. Dr. Desta Meghoo was appointed advisor on the Smithsonian exhibit, by the Ancient Council of the Nyahbinghi Order. A request was then made in 2004 to repatriate the collection to Ethiopia upon its closing. In October 2010, the repatriation of the exhibit, under a new name, was once again discussed with Smithsonian Director of Exhibits, Dr. Michael Mason and curator and Rasta enthusiast J. Homiak. Mason welcomed the discussion with Rasta Elder Nana Rita Marley, Ras Birhan Tonge –photojournalist and Dr. Desta Meghoo. However, considering the size, scope, context and other limiting aspects of “Discovering Ras Tafari” exhibit, we decided it was best to create and curate RAS TAFARI: THE MAJESTY AND THE MOVEMENT an exhibit. It is time for the proverbial "lion to tell its own story" from our own perspective.
Ras Tafari: The Majesty & The Movement exhibit will reflect the tireless journey of a people, wrenched from our Motherland, enduring tortuous treatment in foreign places; but with a deeply rooted spiritual and genetic memory, we were protected, connected and guided home. This exhibit is the fascinating and passionate story of our survival and the strength Ethiopia and the Emperor provided. We will open a wide portal to education and enlightenment for the people of Ethiopia and her many international visitors.
With Addis Ababa the political capital of Africa, seat of the African Union; Harar receiving World Heritage Site award and recognition by UNESCO; and Shashamane as spiritual home of Rastas, gifted to the ‘Black Peoples of the West’, Ethiopia is the perfect choice. Further, many Ethiopians and Africans in general do not know of His Imperial Majesty’s role and relationship with the international world, towards the development of Ethiopia and the advancement of Pan Africanism in a quest for world peace. Fortunately, history has recorded The Majesty's contributions throughout the African Diaspora. On the other hand, the Ras Tafari Movement remains one on the most misunderstood spiritual revivals of the 19th century. Ironically, even many Rastas lack access to cohesive and complete information; notwithstanding the million responses available on google search and youth’s reliance on rhetoric or reggae for inspiration and/or guidance. The mission of RAS TAFARI: THE MAJESTY AND THE MOVEMENT is to accurately present and interpret the contributions and relevance of Ras Tafari in the context of Pan Africanism and towards a united Africa.
The exhibit will focus on experiences and events that shaped both the Majesty and the Ras Tafari Movement. The collection of cultural items, art, photos, ephemera, books, rare items, videos, music and more will cover topics including the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Ethiopianism, Garveyism, Howellites, Coral Gardens Massacre, Repatriation, Role of Ras Tafari Women, traditional Ras Tafari drums and chants, reggae music and more. The exhibition hopes to offer accompanying and continued unique learning opportunities and exchange through an extensive compilation of research materials, conferences, concerts, cultural celebrations, films, and other programs exploring the diverse and unique histories and development of Ras Tafari around the world. Our aim is to create greater awareness of the impact of His Imperial Majesty on the African Diaspora and the Ras Tafari Movement for those who would not ordinarily have the opportunity to be exposed to such history and cultural wealth.
We are also working towards the development of a research center housing books, periodicals and records related to the study of Ras Tafari, attracting scholars and students from around the world. Discussions are already on way with Ewket Haile New Library, an Ethiopian based Pan African library establishing its base in Addis Ababa with Emperor Haile Selassie I's grandson, Crown Prince Zere Yacob Asfa Wossen Haile Selassie and his wife Wayzero Avril Powell at the helm.
Venues for Exhibits:
1. Addis Ababa- Ethiopia National Museum. Open to public February to November 2015.
2. Harar - Satellite exhibit on the birthplace and childhood of Ras Tafari from 1892 to early 1900’s.
3. Shashamane - Satellite exhibit on the history and development of the Sahasahmane land grant 1940’s to 2010; leading figures; challenges and accomplishments of settlers.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE E-MAIL EXHIBIT COORDINATOR DR. DESTA MEGHOO @ email@example.com call 251118500126.