Ainslee Alem Robson
Ainslee Alem Robson is an Ethiopian-American 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 and film.
She is passionate about social justice and harnesses storytelling as a vehicle for meaningful discussion through productive images and narratives of Ethiopia to change the Western gaze and misrepresented narratives of Africa. Ainslee developed an experimental narrative and visual language for reconstructing "tezeta" (meaning nostalgia in Amharic) in Ferenj: A Graphic Memoir in VR, her directorial debut. This afrosurrealist experience based on her personal experience of growing up as an Ethiopian-American in Cleveland, Ohio and later living in Addis Ababa, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival's Cinema360 via Oculus as well as being officially selected by South by Southwest's VR Cinema and the Cleveland International Film Festival's Perspectives in 2020.
Her work is characterized by speculative and emancipatory storytelling strategies, with a transcultural, feminist and post-colonial lens. Ainslee's non-fiction 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 renowned artist Aida Muluneh. Ainslee has also written for Season One of Tibeb Girls, one of the first children’s animation series created in Ethiopia. She holds an M.S. in Fiction and Entertainment from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and a B.A. in Philosophy and French from The College of Wooster.
Currently, Ainslee lives in downtown Los Angeles and is working on other immersive and media art projects as well as adapting Ferenj into a feature film. For any collaboration, commercial, or press related inquiries please reach out to her at email@example.com.
SXSW 2020, Virtual Cinema