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Friday, 7 November 2014

Recap: Erin MacLeod launches Visions of Zion

On Saturday, November 1st, we hosted Erin MacLeod for the launch of her latest work, Vision of Zion: Ethiopians and Rastafari in the Search for the Promised Land. Erin and her colleagues quickly turned our events table from 'ordinary' to 'beautiful, colourful feast'- look! That hummus was delicious, lemme tell ya.

After a glowing introduction, Erin got on stage and began by thanking her family, friends, colleagues and the people she's met in, or travelled with to, Kenya and Ethiopia. 

Erin read us the introduction from her book, a piece detailing her first visit to Shashamane. On the bus ride to this settlement for Rastafari people in Ethiopia, Erin noticed two dreadlocked men. One is white, one is black, but both are immediately described as foreigners by the local woman Erin is sitting next to. It quickly becomes clear that Rastafari are as out of place in Ethiopia as a Canadian scholar might be, regardless of their race. Visions of Zion examines why this is and much more.  Erin then explained about her process, citing the importance of telling stories in academic writing.

Spirits were high, and rightly so-

-Erin drew in a full house, and Visions of Zion was a sell-out! Erin had wonderful, well-considered responses to each of the questions she was asked and happily signed books while talking to events' attendees one-on-one. A big thanks to Erin and her team, and everyone who came out and participated in the discussion! 

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