8.10.2009

RIP Marwa Omot

I don't know much about Marwa Akway Omot, except that he was 23, he came here from Ethiopia in 1996, and his body was found on Sunday in the Mississippi not far from my where I live. As a 16-year old, he took part in the Walker Art Center's 2002 project, "Minneapolis and St. Paul are East African Cities," which was part of Ethiopia-born artist Julie Mehretu's residency. Mehretu and Walker staffers worked with Somali, Oromo and Ethiopian kids to help them map their lives here in Minnesota; the result -- including audio Omot recorded in his chemistry class at Edison High School in Northeast Minneapolis -- was presented in an online interactive map; plus participants' photos, notebooks and audio recordings are now part of the permanent collection at the Hennepin History Museum, where they were exhibited in 2003.

Given my tenuous connection to this young man, I'm not sure why I'm writing about this, except maybe to acknowledge sadness that his long journey here, presumably to find better circumstances, ended abruptly. And as a (probably unnecessary) reminder that when it comes to charting our own lives, we never know how soon 'til that last X on the map is laid down.

Condolences to his family and friends.

7 comments:

Sean Hudson said...

I can't believe this. As one of his best friends I am truly overwhelmed by this news. For him to leave us in this fashion is heartbreaking. Such a beautiful soul. I'll never forget you brother.

squiz said...

Rip to one of the sweetest soft spoken and gentle men i ever met love you bro only the good die young.Marwa had the innocence of a young child. Alphonzo Lofton

JafaBrit's Art said...

I didn't know him, but I can feel sadness at a life lost so young. It seems he had touched so many lives and will be a great loss to them, and a loss to our world.

Anonymous said...

marwa was my cousin he was cool and i miss him unbelievable

Anonymous said...

my name is Abdillahi Mohamed I went to sanford Middle School and Edison High school where Marwa attended I am very and deeply saddened that this happened to him, if I could trade places with him I would he is a good hearted soul and May God have mercy on him. I could not sleep and nor stop thinking about him. Marwa where ever you are I love you as a friend and human being, may god rest your soul.Amen

Anonymous said...

Sad...so sad i didnt even know dis dude but everyone sayin he seemed like a happy dude u know~R.I.P

Anonymous said...

i know marwa omot he was my cosin he way my very best cosin he would help us move and help my mom he would go get are family medcine for my sick brother . just when i heard he was no longer living the put me down i was very very sad i would take break on my job because i would not stop thinkin of him rest in peace my brother !