Objects for the Othered

Miriam Hillawi Abraham

Plexi-glass, mesh, circuit board / 2019
From Objects for the Othered


Objects for the Othered is a set of adornments designed to demand respect for Black Women/Femmes subjected to daily micro(/macro)aggressions.

Drawing on traditions of North African spirit possession and the diasporic rituals of Orishas in Yoruba mythology, this project seeks to adorn the user with tools to call on and embody their orishas/god(s) in order to empower themselves while moving through negative spaces in urban landscapes. The aim of these tools is to provide temporary feelings of empowerment for the user, signify their presence in their environment and ultimately draw awareness to the issues of subtle and nearly imperceptible discrimination BIPOC face while moving through urban currents. Ideally, these tools will become so prolific that there will be nothing to put the agency and power of Black Women/Femmes into question and will no longer be needed.



Selected Works

Publications & Talks


Miriam Hillawi Abraham is a multi-disciplinary designer from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. With a background in Architecture, she works with digital media and spatial design to interrogate themes of equitable futurism and intersectionality. She holds an MFA in Interaction Design from the California College of the Arts and a BArch in Architecture from the Glasgow School of Art. She has worked as a game-code instructor at Bay Area Video Coalition’s youth program for over three years and is now a Mellon researcher for the Canadian Centre for Architecture’s Digital Now multidisciplinary project. Abraham's work has been featured in the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia as part of the Special Project “Guests from the Future”,  as well the "/imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual" exhibition at the MAK Museum of Applied Arts, the 2nd Sharjah Architecture Triennial and the 14th Shanghai Biennale, “Cosmos Cinema.”