Aleka Gebre Selassie Adil

As in all aspects of Ethiopian life, nationalism and patriotism played a prominent role in the development of secular art in the country. During the twentieth century there has been a tradition of heroic and patriotic works in art that symbolically represent Ethiopia’s heroes and rulers. These figures are seen as representations of Ethiopia itself and act as icons for Ethiopian unity and integrity.

Following the Italian invasion in 1935, Ethiopian artists decidedly focused on issues that are still important today: the country's prestige, well being, and national unity. Since then, the image of Ethiopia or of being Ethiopian is represented in many artistic creations.

In the visual arts as well as in secular literature, drama, poetry, and music, the symbolic representation of Ethiopia becomes a subject of the utmost importance.

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