Addis Photo Fest underway
Addis is putting photography in the spotlight this week. The Addis Foto Fest 2012 opened on Monday night at the historic Etege Taitu Hotel in Piassa, Addis Ababa. The festival features some 45 photographers and curators from Africa, USA and Europe and nine exhibitions across 7 venues. Aida Muluneh, director and founder of the photo fest, said that the festival is moving forward towards becoming a key event in the landscape of African contemporary art and culture. “Our goal continues in each edition to provide opportunities to expose our participants and viewers to the various ways in which the image of Africa is portrayed,” Aida wrote in the catalogue.
The program includes panel discussions, talks and workshops with editors and photographers covering issues such as media and photography market in Africa. The opening exhibition, “Addis Transformation”, was dedicated to the 125 anniversary of the city of Addis Ababa, documenting the diplomatic capital of Africa and a thriving metropolis. From the scaffolding tower rising toward the statue, dwellers sharing half built condo apartments to vendors facing the threat of eviction, the photographs produce striking messages about a city at fast pace, price of a construction boom and the causalities of building a city. On one wall, a panoramic photo of Addis taken by the Ethiopian photographer Abate Damte, shows a newly built skyscrapers glowing ethereally in the morning sun and in another wall, Mulugeta Ayene’s images of the city’s building and squares that have undergone a number of facelifts and additions, revealing a unique insight and intimate vision of the city.
Medium prints and frames have been chosen for American photographer Kyle Lamere’s captivating images of Addis’s pretty and fashionable girls strolling around the city center. The photos are artistic, fun, relaxed and simply well-executed shots.
It is stated in the catalogue that Lyle LaMere is a portrait photographer from Chicago, IL who shoots a wide range of subjects-musicians, models, local artists, social entrepreneurs, all-around good folk, and the occasional pro wrestler.
Finally it was good to see the photos of veteran photojournalist Belete Tekle, whose collection of images span three periods of Ethiopia’s political history. Starting from 1960 until the end of 1990, he has documented the urban and societal development, showing how from the small beginning Addis grew into the city it is today.
Launched in 2010 as the Addis Foto Fest, the 2012 edition sees the remit expand along with the sheer quantity of exhibitions and events taking place throughout the week.The Festival will run until 8 December.
(All photos here are taken from Addis Foto Fest Facebook page.) ,except two of Kyle Lamere’s photos which were sent to me by Wanja Kimani, one of the organizers of the photo fest.
For more info, visit Addis Foto Fest.