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Dagmawi Yimer

Dagmawi Yimer was born and grew up in Addis Ababa and was a second-year law student when he left his country, after the 2005 post-election unrest in which hundreds of young people were killed and put in jail. After a long journey across the Libyan desert and the Mediterranean, he came ashore on the island of Lampedusa on 30 July 2006.

In Rome, after having participated in a video-making workshop in 2007, he co-authored the film Il deserto e il mare (The desert and the sea) along with five other migrants. Subsequently he was co-director with Andrea Segre and Riccardo Biadene for the 2008 award-winning documentary film Come un uomo sulla terra (Like a man on earth). He shot the documentary C.A.R.A. ITALIA (Dear Italy) in 2009 and Soltanto il mare (Nothing but the sea) in 2011, along with several other short films. In 2011 he coordinated the collective film project Benvenuti in Italia (Welcome to Italy), and directed one of the five episodes. Va’ pensiero walking stories (2013) is an interwoven account of two racist attacks in Milan and Florence. Asmat – Names (2015) is a short film in memory of all victims of the sea.

In 2015, Yimer presented the James K. Binder lecture the University of California, San Diego entitled “Names and Bodies: tales from the other side of the sea”. In 2020 he produced Waiting an experimental documentary in collaboration with Prof. Sharham Koshravi and Swedish art school PARSE. Currently he teaches the ‘’cinema and migration’’ laboratory in the University of Venice and in schools.

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