Yodith Dammlash (b. 1986, Washington, DC) is a photographer, archivist and editor based in the DC Metropolitan area. She received a BFA in Fine Art Photography from Corcoran College of Art and Design. Yodith’s professional and artistic works have been featured online as well as in print publications, including The Week: Captured, Sally Hemings Dream zine, Nueva Luz Photographic Journal, Electric Revival, Rooted In Magazine, East City Art, The Root, MSN, Huffington Post, Prince George's Suite Magazine and SUNU Journal (forthcoming). She most recently exhibited at Gallery 102 in Washington, DC in December 2016. Her photo-based work explores her own Ethiopian-American ancestry through the lenses of womanhood and collective memory. She specialize in portrait, documentary, commercial and archival photography. She is interested in personal narratives and storytelling.
The Names We Bear
The Names We Bear is an ongoing series of digital collages using photographs of my mother’s family in Ethiopia dating back as early as the 1940s to the 1970s. I’ve collected and archived over 300 photographs, negatives and slides, majority of which were retrieved from a box of materials left behind by my uncle, and used my family’s oral history along with my own imagined reality of the subjects, some of whom I’ve never met, as the basis for selecting which images to combine and superimpose. Not many people of my parent’s generation in the Diaspora have this wealth of old photographs, due to lack of resources or the displacement of personal items during exodus.Reworking these images allows me to make sense of the stories I’ve been told over the years, from the overall charmed youth my mother’s family had to the inevitable tragedies experienced during displacement, as well as add depth and body to previously flattened perspectives of the Diaspora.