Petros, Dawit L.


Eritrean, b. 1972; lives and works in Chicago, USA and Montreal, Canada


Dawit L. Petros, an Eritrean-born, Canadian-raised, and Chicago and Montreal-based artist, studied Fine Art as a Fulbright Fellow at Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. He also holds degrees from Concordia University, Montreal and the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon.

The Stranger’s Notebook (2016) is the product of a thirteen-month field trip that Dawit L. Petros began in 2014, during which he traversed borders from Nigeria to Senegal, from Mauritania to Spain, and finally, from France to Italy, to compare a contemporary social experience of moving between certain regions with past and prevalent narratives of mobility. Throughout his travels, Petros encountered a lack of awareness of North–South flows of migration, as well as those within, across, and throughout the African continent. One of his images features the outstretched arm of a young Eritrean in Catania, Sicily, holding up a reproduction from the first Italian colonial newspaper, which reads “spazio disponibile.” This phrase originally referred to “available space” for advertisements in Italy, but now can be read as a symbolic reference to Europe’s perception of Africa as a territory of free disposal.

Artworks by Petros, Dawit L.

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