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Photographer takes part in Paris exhibit

An Ethiopian photographer is participating in prestigious annual photo exhibition in Paris. The 36-year-old Ethiopian photographer Michael Tsegaye will be displaying his works along with other photographers from around the world at Photoquai 2011: Third Biennial of Non-Western Contemporary Photography to be held in the French capital from 13th September to 4th December 2011.
Michael told Addis Journal that twelve of his photographs will be displayed in the exhibition, following thematic criteria that will allow the visitor to chart his work. The photographer said he will be leaving for Paris this Saturday to attend the opening of the exhibition.
Many of the images are in black and white, while a few have just a tinge of color, the red, white and blue. One of the works to be on display is an intimate photographic study of young prostitutes in Addis Ababa. Elleni Centime Zeleke and Samuel Coetzee in ”The Visible and Invisible in the Photographic Work of Michael Tsegaye” wrote that the works depicts the daily lives of the prostitutes who service a growing urban population. “Here again we see images of the old and new, the modern and the ancient jumbled up with images of destitution and survival. But, again, these are not sentimental images of suffering. Instead, the poetry of the image lies with the fact that it reveals hidden moments of human solidarity and humour. Thus, by making that which we take for granted less visible Tsegaye’s photography highlights the secret gestures of his protagonists. But in so doing the photograph actually offers evidence of the inner spirit of the people as well as the objects rendered,” the writers explained.

Michael was born in 1975 and lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He graduated in painting from the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Arts and Design in 2002, but gave up painting when he developed an allergy to oil paint. However, he found his real passion in photography and has made out of it not just a profession, but a way of expressing a very particular voice. The photographer’s eye for composition and light has won him praise and many awards.Many of Michael’s photographs have been displayed internationally, including in Berlin and Stuttgart, Amsterdam, Mexico City.
Created in 2007 by the musée du quai Branly and dedicated to non-Western photography, the PHOTOQUAI biennial exhibition of world images is hailed from its first edition for its quality, originality, ambition and relevance. For its third edition, PHOTOQUAI presents nearly 400 works by 46 contemporary photographers from 29 countries: South Africa, Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Togo, Morocco, Tunisia, Bahrain, Iraq, Belarus, Russia, China, South Korea, India, Japan, Taiwan, Cuba, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Colombia, Brazil.

  1. Samhadas
  2. Laura Hulscher
    September 8, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for introducing me to this photographer’s work. What is the source of the quote by Elleni Centime Zeleke and Samuel Coetzee? A search for ”The Visible and Invisible in the Photographic Work of Michael Tsegaye” didn’t bring anything up.

    • September 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      Hello Laura,
      Thanks for reading my blog. It was taken from a not-yet-published-article, an excerpt of which was provided to me by the photographer.

  3. Laura Hulscher
    September 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    That explains why I couldn’t find any reference to it!
    Thanks for your blog, I just started following it, and look forward to learning more about the cultural community in Ethiopia.

  4. Aelsa BEkele
    September 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm


  5. rahel
    September 28, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I will follow your foot steps Michael
    Tsegaye and thank you Addis journal for enlightening us on this talented ethiopian brothers n sisters! Continue what you are doing!

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