Ethel-Ruth Tawe (b. Yaoundé, Cameroon) is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, curator and creative strategist 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 (Magnum Photos) 2022 Counter Histories Grant for her project 'Image Frequency Modulation'. Exhibitions include '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), Afrovisualism’s ‘Black Cinematic Continuum’ (2022) at Afrikana Film Festival, among others. Ethel has presented at panels including at Maastricht University and at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD SF). She was 2022 artist-in-residence at Palm Heights where she showcased a site-specific installation at their in-house library and curated a series on editorial platform 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, and 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.