"> Name: Tekle Hawariat's play, "Fabula," creates ban on dramatic performances in Ethiopia

Date:  1900 - 1925

Location:  Africa

SubjectPolitical/Economic/Social Opinion


Artist: Tekle Hawariat

Confronting Bodies: Zauditu, the empress of Ethiopia

Date of Action: 1916

Specific Location: Ethiopia

Description of Artwork: "Fabula: Yawreoch Commedia" is a play that uses animal characters to express Hawariat's criticisms of the corruption and backwardness of the court. Having lived in Europe, Hawarait expresses his distaste for Ethiopian culture and the ruling class in comparison to what he had seen. However, these criticisms are not very deeply buried within the performance.

Description of Incident: Emporess Zauditu understood the messages in Fabula and proceeded to ban not only it, but any other court performance.

Results of Incident: When Zaudita died in 1930, the new emperor, Haile Selassie I, repealed the ban so that he could improve Ethiopia's reputation as a modernized nation.

Source: Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. Ed. Derek Jones. Chicago; London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001.

Submitted By: NCAC

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