Tesfahun Haddis

Research interest
Economic anthropology (traditional agriculture,), visual anthropology, anthropology of work, applied/conventional theater.


Tesfahun Haddis graduated from Addis Ababa University with a master's degree in Theatre and Development. He worked as a lecturer and head of the Department of Theater Arts (2012-2013) at Mekelle University from 2010 to 2020, and he is also the founder of Warka Pictures Film Academy, both of which are located in Tigray, northern Ethiopia.

In collaboration with German and Ethiopian anthropologists and filmmakers, he realized five ethnographic film projects (as a director and camera person), which have been selected and screened at several ethnographic film festivals in Africa, Europe, and the United States. In addition, he has also written and directed a number of conventional and applied theatre pieces that have been performed at national and regional levels in Ethiopia.

His involvement in the projects: Guardians of Productive Landscapes (developed by Prof. Dr. Ivo Strecker and Prof. Dr. Guenther Schlee under the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany) and Ethnographies of Parliaments, Politicians, and People (Department of Anthropology and Sociology, SOAS, University of London), as well as his collaboration with the Department of Anthropology (Mekelle University), set the stage for a multi-disciplinary approach in which he interacted with anthropologists, filmmakers, political scientists, historians, and indigenous people.

Specially his participation in the Guardians of Productive Landscapes Film Series (films on agricultural and pastoral traditions) and his research visit to the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany in 2018 helped him better understand the topic he is studying, which ultimately led to his doctoral dissertation on the work ethic of Tigrayan farmers in northern Ethiopia, where he also made an ethnographic film during his field work.