Ainslee Alem Robson
Cleveland native, Ainslee Alem Robson is a director and writer who crafts immersive stories about tensions embedded within the intersectional layers of identity, perception, the digital, and nostalgia. With a background in philosophy she focuses on narratives that deconstruct hierarchy and colonial legacies using emerging technologies in digital art.
Ainslee is passionate about social justice and harnesses storytelling as a vehicle for meaningful discussion and change. She creates productive images and narratives of Ethiopia and the continent to change the reductive Western gaze and misrepresented narratives of Africa that cloaked her childhood. She developed an experimental narrative and visual language for reconstructing tezeta/memory in ‘Ferenj: A Graphic Memoir in VR’. This afrosurrealist experience about her personal story of growing up as an Ethiopian-American in Cleveland, Ohio in the 90s and later moving to Addis Ababa, will premiere this March in the Virtual Cinema at SXSW 2020.
Ainslee's work is characterized by speculative and emancipatory storytelling strategies, with a transcultural, feminist and post-colonial focus. Her writing has been published by Art Africa Magazine and Vogue Italia. Ainslee has worked on the production of several commercials as well as on the production team of the Addis Foto Fest ‘16 with award-winning photographer and cultural entrepreneur Aida Muluneh. Ainslee has also written for Season One of Tibeb Girls, one of the first children’s animation series created in Africa for Africans. Ainslee holds an M.S. in Fiction & Entertainment from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and a B.A. in Philosophy and French from The College of Wooster.