Mahlet Ogbe: The Ambience of Bereavement

Galleri 3,14 15.01.2010 18.0013.03.2010 00.00


There are specific rituals of grief in Eritrean and northern Ethiopian culture. The first reaction to death or to the sad news is typical not to cry, instead shout loudly, an act usually carried out by close members of the family.

The unexpected and distressing loss is expressed as a sudden and powerful sound of different voices it creates a strong, very emotional and physical reactions.

The mourning reaches its loud climax during the burial at the conspicuous echo of the graveyard, a mixture of crying and shouting. They cry with a very similar rhythm sounds amazing, almost like a song. Within the crying different themes are presented, rhythmically and melodically elaborated.

The whole project is based on this dramatic work in which the basic of setting and character are made as a sign of sorrow following the death of someone.

Mourning and how we express our grief may differ from culture to culture, but the pain we feel is all the same.

It’s not a question of expressing mourning for the loss of one particular person, but in general terms a ritual of mourning – a ritual recognisable and related to human beings expressing profound grief – emphasizing the circumstances of events that is forming a hopeless situation.

The video production is done in cooperation with BEK, and supported by Bergen Municipality and the Norwegian Art Council.