Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Artist: Tekle Hawariat
Confronting Bodies: Zauditu, the empress of Ethiopia
Dates of Action: 1916
Description of Artwork: Fabula: Yawreoch Commedia is a play that uses animal characters to express Hawariat's criticisms of the corruption and backwardness of the court. Having lived in Europe, Hawarait expresses his distaste for Ethiopian culture and the ruling class in comparison to what he had seen. However, these criticisms are not very deeply buried within the performance.
The Incident: Emporess Zauditu understood the messages in Fabula and proceeded to ban not only it, but any other court performance. Results of Incident: When Zaudita died in 1930, the new emperor, Haile Selassie I, repealed the ban so that he could improve Ethiopia's reputation as a modernized nation. Source: Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. Ed. Derek Jones. Chicago; London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001.