Oromiyaan Athletes: Oromiyaan Skin without the Abyssinian Mask
By Gadaa.com Commentator
Lately, there’s a debate about photoshopping and Oromiyaan Olympians. It turns out a few Oromo nationalist graphic artists removed the superimposed oppressive colonial Ethiopian nationality from the photos of Oromiyaan Olympians (such as Tirunesh Dibaba and Xiqi Gelana, see below); these graphic artists deleted the oppressive colonial masks of Ethiopianism from the photos of Oromiyaan Olympians. And, this has triggered accusations of “photoshopping” from some corners, even Oromo.
Which nationality was the “photoshopped” version? The athletes’ Oromiyaan nationality or the Ethiopian colonial nationality?
This could be taken as a very clever social experiment emulating Frantz Fanon’s “Black Skin, White Mask” – in which he argued about the divided self-perception of the Black Subject, who has lost his/her cultural originality and embraced the culture of the mother country – in this case, Oromiyaan nationals embracing the Abyssinian colonial national identities, such as flag, language, culture and history, as their own.
Over the last 120 years, Abyssinianism/Ethiopianism has been photoshopped (i.e. superimposed) over Oromiyaans while the colonial forces photoshopped out Oromummaa from Oromiyaa through state-terrorism. The Oromo nationalist graphic artists simply removed this photoshopped colonial Ethiopian nationality from the Oromiyaan Olympians – i.e. showed the Oromiyaan Skin without the Abyssinian Mask.
An article with a similar theme can be found here: National Liberation and Culture
Here are the images of Oromiyaan athletes, embracing Oromiyaan nationality, without the colonially-photoshopped (i.e. superimposed by force) Ethiopian nationality.
The following video shows how Oromo nationalists are celebrating Oromiyaan Olympians in social media outlets, such as Facebook. The song is by Saliha Sami.