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Going on a photo road trip

A presentation on photography and writing craft was hosted by the Museum of Modern Art of Addis Ababa yesterday,December 6, 2011. Displaying snaps they have taken during road trip in four sub-Saharan African countries, different photographers explained about the collection that they said were able to capture ordinary people going about their daily lives in the street.The 12 photographers (ten from Nigeria and the other three from Ghana, Sudan and Ethiopia) traveled about 12 000 km from Lagos to Addis Ababa to record, document and share visual imagery that reflects contemporary African life.Each shared wonderful stories about his photographing and what he hoped to share with spectators.

The project named as ‘Invisible Borders, Trans-African Photographic Initiative’ was founded in 2009 with the aim to take road trip across Africa to explore and participate in various photographic events, festival and exhibitions. The endeavor involves traveling together, working as a team, having a good time and sharing their experiences using blog posts and Twitter. Ten participants traveled from Lagos to Bamako with stops in Benin, Ghana, Togo and Burkina Fasso in the first edition of the photography road trip project. A year later, in 2010, the group traveled from Lagos to Dakar with ten participants. The latest one is the 3rd edition comprising participants of the old and new members, traveling from Lagos to Addis. Eleven photographers and two writers writing for the blog are now in Addis, in their last leg of the road project. The group made stops of about five to seven days in the capital and important cities of Nigeria, Chad, Sudan and Ethiopia to create artistic works in collaboration with the indigenous artists in the cities, while networking within the art community.

The photographers described their project as the first in a series that will tell Africa’s stories, by Africans, through photography and inspiring artistic interventions. They said the project also strives “to encourage exposure of upcoming African photographers towards art and photography as practiced in other parts of the continent; to establish a platform that encourages and embraces trans- African artistic relationships within the continent, and to contribute towards the socio-political discourse shaping Africa of the 21st Century,” they said.
The group held a workshop involving local photographers from Addis, in an event organized in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art director, Aida Muleneh. The results of the trips are expected to be published in a book.

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