Image Caption: To my beloved mom, How are you? How is your health? I’m fine, thanks to God. When you left, Yeshareg, you did not pass me on to a kind person. Why do I feel so? It is said a child without a mother is considered a liar and a thief without even touching anything. From the day I arrived at my aunt’s house, she insulted me. She beat me every day. I have some problem in my ear; what am I supposed to do about it? I was not a child when I was a child. It’s because my aunt saw me as an animal. They beat me for stealing things, which I have never done. I have always felt starved and thirsty. She gave me no comfort as a child. Often, she threw me out on the streets. I started sleeping in the neighborhood. Thank god, I have become part of a new family with eight other kids. We sleep in good beds now, we eat well and the chairs are
comfortable. I’m going to school. That is all for today. In the next letter, I will explain everything
that happens after now. Your daughter, Hiwot Umer
Assembly presents “Sudden Flowers,” a project by Eric Gottesman in collaboration with Sudden Flowers, an art collective of young people in Addis Abba. This NFT collection explores the complex lives of and harsh realities of young people growing up in one neighborhood in Addis Ababa between 2000 and 2014 who, in the wake of their parents’ deaths, experienced the trauma of grief, structural violence, and AIDS-related stigma. "Sudden Flowers'' was a fourteen-year-long artistic collaboration with a collective of young people in the Shiromeda/Sidist Kilo neighborhood of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The young collective delved into the possibilities of image making as a tool for self-expression, healing and teaching others. Together, they made photographs, films and installations and displayed these works in their neighborhood, throughout the city and the country. Each of their projects is like a “lyric” in larger poetic structure.
Eric Gottesman is an artist whose work addresses nationalism, migration, structural violence, history and intimate relations. His projects question accepted notions of power and, by engaging communities in critical self-reflection and creative expression, propose models for repair. Gottesman’s work is always collaborative, and he has never made an artwork alone. His work has been shown in museums like MoMA/PS1, the Johannesburg Art Gallery, MFA Boston, Houston Center for Photography, MoCA Cleveland, and the Addison Gallery of American Art. Gottesman is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Creative Capital Artist, a Fulbright Fellow, an Artadia awardee, an Aaron Siskind Foundation Artist and a co-founder of For Freedoms, an initiative for art and civic engagement that won the 2017 ICP-Infinity Award and was named the "largest creative collaboration in United States history" by TIME Magazine.