Ethel-Ruth Tawe (b. Yaoundé, Cameroon) is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, curator and creative researcher exploring memory and identity in Africa and its diaspora. Image-making, storytelling, and time-travelling compose the framework of her inquiry. Using collage, pigments, words, installation, still and moving images, Ethel examines space and time-based technologies often from a surrealist lens. Her burgeoning curatorial practice took form in an inaugural exhibition titled 'African Ancient Futures', and continues to expand in a myriad of audiovisual experiments.
Ethel is recipient of the Magnum Foundation 2022 Counter Histories Grant-Program for her project 'Image Frequency Modulation'. Exhibitions include 'Black Atlantic Visions' at Eye Filmmuseum x MACA, 'AfterImages' (2023) at Rele Gallery Lagos, 'Double Exposures' (2023) at PhotoIreland Festival in Dublin, 'Back in the Day is our Future' (2021) at Melkweg Amsterdam, flat70’s 'Reclaim Space' (2021) billboard exhibition in London, Mozilla Foundation's 'Ancestral Intelligence' (2022), among others. Ethel has presented and spoken at Maastricht University, the Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD SF), Afrikana Film Festival's 'Black Cinematic Continuum' segment curated by Afrovisualism, amongst other engagements. She was a 2022 artist-in-residence at Palm Heights where she showcased a site-specific installation at their in-house library along with an online series on Something Curated. Her work has been featured on international platforms like BOMB Magazine and OkayAfrica.
As a creative consultant, Ethel has produced global campaigns for ART X Lagos, conducted research for brands like Nike and Johnnie Walker, film researcher for selections shown a Tribeca Film Festival, Blackstar Fest, The Barbican Center and others. She is a contributor to the British Journal of Photography, ContemporaryAnd, Quartz, Nataal, Feminists, among other publications. She was previously Editorial Director for arts and culture platform Africa 2.O Magazine. Ethel holds an MSc Development Studies from SOAS University of London and a BA (Hons) International Human Rights. Her academic research examined the safeguarding of tangible and intangible cultural heritage in Africa, informing her work experience with the African Union and international organisations in The Hague. Living in Cameroon, Tanzania, Kenya, The US, UK, Netherlands, and Ghana has informed her multifaceted approach to social problem-solving.