March 2016


Adwa - An African Victory

Friday 04.03.2016 8:00 PM | Saal

Admission: free

Organizer: Werkstatt der Kulturen/ Freundeskreis Äthiopien


Film // Lecture // Poetry on the 120th Anniversary of the Victory of Adwa, Ethiopia against the Italian Invading Forces 1896

Adwa - An African Victory

Film // Lecture // Poetry


The Battle of Adwa was took place in the city of Adwa in northern Ethiopia by the Ethiopian army under Emperor (Negus Negest) Menelik II. against the Italian invading forces under General Oreste Baratieri on March 1, 1896. It was the most important battle of the Italian-Ethiopian war and secured Ethiopian sovereignty.

Adwa 1896: The Italian Army invades Ethiopia with the aim to take over the country as a colony. However, they did not reckon with the enormous resilience of Ethiopian partisans. Emperor Menelik and Empress Taitu recruit all local groups across the country and provide an impressive army of 150,000 soldiers together. Mostly armed with spears and knives, but with excellent military strategies, the People's Army succeeds in forcing the logistically superior attacker into retreat.

The victory of the Ethiopians in Adwa has shaped not only their own national consciousness, but it also marks a turning point in the history of the colonization of the entire continent. Consciously from an African perspective, Gerima explores the exemplary significance of this battle as a symbol of resistance and sovereignty, thus creating a 


counterweight to the prevailing Euro-centric interpretation of colonization. Gerima especially pays attention to the richness and diversity of the visual and auditory memory of the Ethiopian people. From generation to generation, the memory of the battle and triumph over Italy is kept alive and handed down - in stories, church, folk and military songs, in historical plays and in paintings.


Invite Friends

Trailer 'Adwa - An African Victory' by Haile Gerima (1999): 

In cooperation with Freundeskreis Äthiopien