Adopted from Ethiopia and raised in the Netherlands, Kalkidan Hoex always felt she lived in between two different worlds. She explores the intricacies of her identity and relates to others through her jewelry brand TheNEWTribe.
She speaks to those she considers a part of her own identity – youth of mixed descent. She focuses on this group because, despite their differences in background and upbringing, they often share and agree on the many subjects and parts of the complex construction they consider their identity. This focus grew through her research into the representation of Black people in images.
The empowerment of representational, educational and symbolic storytelling through diverse mediums of work that resonate with its audience, is the growing factor behind TheNEWtribe.
I AM MOTHERLAND
The work Kalkidan creates is strongly linked to how she experiences her mixed Dutch and Ethiopian identity. Where these two worlds overlap, a third world is created. Her third world is a surrealistic place that conveys a feeling of culture that does not belong anywhere. The objects she makes are an expression of how she shapes and perceives her third world.
Kalkidan uses the in-between world to comprehend her reality and create the illusion that she knows where she belongs. It serves as her safe space and coping mechanism for the mental fractures she endured from lack of belonging. I AM MOTHERLAND is about how she grounds herself. Motherland is an entity she carries within. Where she finds her sense of mother.
Image by Kalkidan Hoex