Eritrean Artist Eyob Habteslasie Preserves Culture Through Research-Based Films

Eritrean artist Eyob Habteslasie creates cultural films and theater productions through thorough research, preserving Eritrea's rich cultural heritage. His works, such as "Mestenkir Gedam Abune Libanos" and "Setri", showcase his dedication to authenticity and cultural understanding.

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Eritrean Artist Eyob Habteslasie Preserves Culture Through Research-Based Films

Eritrean Artist Eyob Habteslasie Preserves Culture Through Research-Based Films

Eyob Habteslasie, also known as Wedi Techela, is an Eritrean artist who started his journey in the arts by writing scripts for plays in tenth grade. He later joined theart clubat the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students, where he took courses on writing, directing, and acting under the guidance of Efriem Kahsay. Habteslasie went on to earn a diploma in Theatrical Arts from SMAP Institute of Education, Training and Consultancy.

For Habteslasie, research is the key to creating successful and authentic works of art, especially when it comes to cultural films. "For me, the secret of successful work in every field lies in the kind of research done,"he says. Habteslasie believes that thoroughresearchis essential to uncover genuine stories and preserve Eritrea's rich cultural heritage for future generations.

"We need to understand that we have a very rich culture, and the key to understanding the culture is research," Habteslasie emphasizes. "Through systematic studies, we uncover mysteries of the past and capture them in books, films, and other genres not just for preservation but also to share them with our compatriots and people all over the world."

However, Habteslasie's commitment to authenticity comes with its own set of challenges. Producingcultural filmsrequires dedication, a substantial budget, and immense patience. The artist often spends all his earnings on a single film, and the production stage can take just as long as the research phase. Teaching actors to speak in the dialects of the past is another tiresome task, as it demands a deep understanding of a society's specific identity, time, and situation.

Despite the hurdles, Habteslasie's works stand as a testament to his dedication and the power of research. His documentary "Mestenkir Gedam Abune Libanos" (The Wonders of Abune Libanos Monastery) required several six-hour trips on foot to collect relevant data. Similarly, his television serial "Setri" involved over 100 actors, numerous cavaliers, and ancient scripts, necessitating visits to Metera's caves in Senafe and theAsmara museum.

Through his research-based approach to film and theater, Eyob Habteslasie aims to convey the importance of understanding and preserving Eritrean culture. His works not only capture the essence of the past but also share it with the world, ensuring that Eritrea's rich cultural tapestry remains vibrant and accessible for generations to come.