Aliens in Eritrea navigates how diaspora populations can participate in the cultures that inadvertently create them. These images are a love letter to Eritrean history and the future I hope to contribute towards. As culture shifts and populations don’t all have the same experiences, all kinds of people can feel alien in their own country. As an Eritrean American, I often feel like an alien in both. The greatness of an alien concept is that it captures the zeitgeist and fears of a place and time. My deepest influences are the Planet of the Apes projects (1960s-70s) for how they expose the fear of aliens as really the fear of a more powerful society infiltrating and overpowering one’s own. It’s this fear of colonization, projected by countries who have colonized and would never want to be on the receiving end. The idea of aliens could be very different in the eyes of post-colonial nations, and I create aliens that explore visually what aliens steeped in different cultural backgrounds and intentions could look like.
Art Director/ Model: Sephora Woldu | Photographer: Paige Ricks