This photo by Gali Tibbon, an Israeli photojournalist and documentary photographer, showing an infertile Ethiopian woman baptized by priests in Lalibela just before Christmas day has won the prestigious World Photography Awards 2013 in the professional travel category. According to faith the water has fertility powers that will allow her to conceive.
The second image by the same photographer shows a ray of light penetrating into the church from a cross shaped window as a pilgrim walks by.
For more Lalibela photos of Gali Tibbon, check here.
A saline lake in Ethiopia that’s baffled scientists by its 15-fold growth threatens to spill into the nation’s longest river and damage the country’s plans to become a commodities powerhouse, Bloomberg news agency reported on April 24.
Lake Beseka in the Rift Valley has grown to its largest size ever amid irrigation runoff and seismic shifts in past years. Should salt waters contaminate the Awash River, they would risk Ethiopia’s oldest state-owned sugar estate and an India-funded project downstream that’s key to the government’s $5 billion plan to turn the country into a top sugar exporter, according to Bloomberg.
“The fear is for the river,” Water and Energy Ministry groundwater chief Tesfaye Tadesse said. “If it discharges by itself without any control, the river is going to be contaminated forever.”
Bloomebrg said that river basins including the Blue Nile and rugged highlands bless Ethiopia with plentiful hydropower and the continent’s second-largest water resources. The government is counting on Indian financing, a Saudi billionaire and Chinese loans to grow sugar, rice, bananas and oranges for export to expand the fastest-growing African economy without oil reserves.
Find the full story here.
Lela Art Gallery will present a retrospective of the work of Zerihun Yetmegeta in a new exhibition opening Saturday, April 20. “Yekelebet Menged” (Ring Road) will run through May 12th at LeLa Contemporary art Gallery in Addis Ababa. Zerihun is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential artists in contemporary Ethiopian art, in a career that spans almost five decades.
“Zerihun explores for the past 50 years the visualization of space by creating an illusion of depth and engages the viewer in the game of seeking recognizable imagery and inventing his own visual chronicle,” an associate curator, Leo Lefort said.
The exhibition will feature black and white paintings, prints, drawings which according to the curator “allude to the textural quality of sculpture -equating Paul Klee or Pierre Soulages- suggesting a third dimension where there is only the flat surface of the canvas.”
As Leo noted, “Like a distant mirage, the viewer is drawn into the works of Zerihun, wanting to explore the multiple layers of information: referring to symbols, gods and Saints, motifs inherited from magic scrolls, Akan akua’ba figure from Ghana or King Ezana.”
The exhibition will explore dominant themes throughout Zerihun’s career, including mythology and fiction, anthropology and truth, illusion, duality, myth, and fairy tale. “The irradiation of color and the absence of a precise narrative,” will be the main feature of the show, according to the curator.
For more, go to LeLa Art Gallery website.
Ruth Woldeselasie is fast becoming one of Ethiopia’s hottest designers. Her designs, which are simple, straightforward and locally inspired pieces, are getting recognitions from different corners. She draws inspiration from country and urban folks in order to produce wearable and long-lasting clothes. In her ‘Urban Roots Couture’ label, the Addis-born designer is trying to mix fashion with street culture – pushing the boundaries to the maximum. Since its inception, Urban Roots Couture has received press coverage from major local newspapers such as the Capital, the Reporter. Ruth has recently styled the likes of Jano Band, the recent Miss Ethiopia pageants and Miss Universe Ethiopia. She has showcased her work at numerous places in Addis such as a solo show at Radisson Blu Hotel, and another one at Sheraton Addis to mark Rotarian’s 50th celebration. Last November, at Velvet Restaurant and Pastry, she collaborated with twenty enterprises that specialize in using recycled and organic-based textiles materials to create outfits. In the Hub of Africa 2012, she partnered with Sole Rebels, an artisan who manufactures eco-friendly footwear, to showcase her works in African Union Conference center. She also participated in African Mosaique’s group show, “Biennial Fashion and Cultural Gala” at Sheraton Addis on January 4, 2013. On December 15, 2012, she has staged an “Eco Friendly Fashion Show” at Alliance Ethio-Française. Read more…
Baher Dar is an interesting town to visit in the northern Ethiopia route. Much of the city’s popularity is thanks to its palm-lined avenues, pretty lakeside vistas, and colorful market. The focal point of the town is Lake Tana, and its island monasteries dotted around the lake.
Kuriftu Resort, one of the establishments designed around the lake, has majestic setting. Opened in 2009 and set on a 10,000 msq of land, the lodge is cozy, chic and relaxed with 28 guest rooms with private views and individual bungalows that open onto the lake and sunlit garden filled with roses and citrus trees. The ultra-modern lodge is product of a bamboo, thatch and stone and with furnishings that include antiques and traditional motifs. It’s not the first eco-lodge in the Baher Dar but it is the swankiest, and the only one with a giant swimming pool. While it will take a little time for the new stone facades, linking walkways and patio to settle and age, the overall design is attractive, with leather seating, low tables and pleasant table and chair arrangements in the dining room. Read more…
The Ethiopian poet and playwright Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin’s biography hit bookstores last week, according to Tsehai Publishers.
The new book, called “Soaring on Winged Verse,” was based on interviews that author Fasil Yitbarek has held with Tsegaye, family members, friends, colleagues, the publishing company said in a press statement.
The 244-page book, priced $24.95, chronicles the life of one of Ethiopia’s most remarkable authors, tracing Tsegaye’s days from his Boda village to his rise as luminary figure.
“This book gives readers the most complete look into the life and prolific career of Tsegaye, a playwright and author of influential poetry in both Amharic and English,” the press statement reads.
“Beyond providing a biographical account of the events that shaped the poet’s life, Soaring on Winged Verse serves as an intimate window into the writer’s world and provides readers a glimpse into his creative musings and to his remarkable journey as a writer, traveler, and advocate for his home country.”
The biographer, currently professor of English at Qatar University in Doha, has published an English novel, The Texture of Dreams in 2005. “In Soaring on Winged Verse, readers will encounter a story that goes beyond mere facts to encompass the inspiration of Tsegaye’s remarkable and dynamic life,” the publisher said.
A student at Addis Ababa University’s Information Technology Department is being detained by the country’s security services for his Facebook activity. Manyazewal Eshetu has been arrested and charged with criminal defamation after he posted on his Facebook page criticizing the “rampant” corruption at Arba Minch University, according to a report from the Amharic service of Deutsche Welle. The 21-year-old student was picked up from his home in Addis Ababa last Thursday and taken to a prison in Arba Minch town. Though the Facebook posting had been taken down, police said the student made a defamatory statement, attacking individuals such as the university president.
Manyazewal’s guardian told DW his effort to find a way to free the student hasn’t succeeded. The guardian spoke highly of the student who he said has a good school record, participates in different extracurricular activities, and contributes articles for school publications. The guardian added Manyazewal was recently awarded a prize for his outstanding contribution in Ethiopian university student’s sports competition held in Arba Minch town.
Though a number of journalists and opposition figures have been charged with defamation in recent years for voicing their opinions in Ethiopia’s nascent liberal press, this is one of the rare cases in which someone is being targeted for a post on the social network.
We might say goodbye to one of the most famous Ethiopian rift valley lakes soon. Lake Abiyata, which lies 200 kilometers south of Addis Ababa and often glimmered pink with flamingos, is declining rapidly due the damming of rivers and soda ash production. “The lake is among the most endangered of the lakes. Its gradual demise is recorded in a concentric series of old shorelines, obvious on the ground,” say environmental experts.
Lake Abiyata (locally known as Hora Kunni) is the shallowest of the rift valley lakes. It occupies a very flat depression, bounded to the west and east by small fault scarps. Its waters are more are appreciably more soda-rich than those of Langano. This expresses the fact that Lake Abiyata has no outlet, and evaporation continues to concentrate the soda. At present the lake’s maximum depth is about 7 meters, but this is decreasing as the lake shrinks. Read more…
Here’s a selection of animals, birds and landscapes photos taken in different parts of Ethiopia. I thought I’d share a few of them with you- I hope you like them.
Long-crested eagle perches on a pole, crest waving in wind.
The remarkably long, feathered crest possessed by the aptly named long-crested eagle, is this unmistakable bird of prey’s most striking feature. My bird guide book tells me it is a relatively small eagle with dark brown to black plumage, long, white feathered legs, and a well barred tail. With the broad, rounded wings spread in flight, patches of white are conspicuous at the base of the primaries.
(Photo taken by Søren Kristensen, a Danish ornithologist that I’ve had a chance to accompany to the northern and western part of Ethiopia). Read more…
With its stirring plot, profound themes and lushly imagined language, Lib weled Tarik was so much more than Africa’s first novel. Jack Fellman turns the pages of a literary work of art.
The novel as an art form was late in appearing on the African literary scene. The first novel in an African vernacular tongue was the 90-page Amharic work, Lib Weled Tarik (literally, a story produced from the heart or an imaginary tale), written by the Ethiopian, Afewerk Gebre Eyesus, and published in 1908 in Rome.
Afewerk was born on July 10th 1868 on the Zeghe Peninsula of Lake Tana. His family was related to Empress Taytu, wife of the Emperor Menelik, who early on noted the talents of his young relative. In 1887 Menelik sent the 19-year-old Afewerk to study in Italy, where he proved an exceptional student. In 1902 he was appointed Assistant in Amharic to Professor Francesco Gallina at the Oriental Institute of the University of Naples, and it was in this capacity, and with the professor’s active encouragement and support, that Afewerk produced his novel- Africa’s first. Read more…