Water Bearer 

Miriam Hillawi Abraham
2022;  Commissioned by Asmaa Jama & Onassis Stegi, Athens, Greece

Digital animation still / 2022
From Everything Returns From The Water, Whole and Silver


“Before he knew it, his body was turning water, melted metacarpals / he found himself dripping into the ground.”

- Asmaa Jama, Everything Returns From The Water, Whole and Silver

This work was commisioned by Asmaa Jama and Onassis Stegi as a visual accompaniment to their writing and the soundscapes created by Sami El-Anany. The gabarmanyo, a mercreature from coastal Somali lore, sometimes appearing as the manifestation of sailors or travellers lost at sea.

Poet and visual artist, Asmaa Jama is interested in working with oral histories and multiple voices and has created a piece of fiction that explores new possibilities for the future and alternative narratives rather than revisiting the past. This piece, “Everything returns from the water, whole and silver,” explores the waters around East and North Africa, and the different sounds, narratives, myths, histories that overlap within it through the creation of a fictional character based on the sea, inventing a mythology and folklore around this figure.



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.”