Raised in Canada, now living and working in Addis, Aida Muluneh is an artist of humane sensibilities, as her recent photographic work illustrates. With a background in film and photography, Aida has been focusing on photography for the past ten years and her images have appeared in numerous exhibitions in Cuba, Canada, England, Germany, Israel, Spain and Mali. A book of her work, called “Ethiopia: Past/Forward,” was published in September 2009 in Belgium.
Aida seems to be drawn to a sense of place and timelessness, known and familiar, self and other. Most of her images are black and white, which are inspired from her way of looking at the world in black and white. “Truth is either black or white. Human elements are exhibited though it. Black and white is the foundation. Color is tricky. But whatever I use, my focus is capturing light,” she says. Her shots depict the lives of regular folk: a girl on a horse, a woman at the doorway, women holding hands with their faces obscured, a pretty veiled girl looking at us with Bob Marley poster behind her. The photos capture the raw human emotions of mourning, anger, contentment and they come out as a touching story of girls and women becoming visible and discovering their self-acceptance. Read more…
Award-wining photographer Aida Muluneh will present “So Long Letter”, her second solo show on May 31st, 2013 at Addis Ababa’s TO.MO.CA gallery. The exhibition is a dedication to women in Ethiopia and is inspired by one of her favorite books “So Long a Letter” by Senegalese writer Mariama Bâ, she announced on her Facebook page.
Aida first exhibited at Asni Gallery in 2012 that showcased her photographs combined with drawings.Throughout her work, the artist tackles the issue of identity, memory, dislocation, the self and “otherness”, that remains open to the spectator’s imagination.
Aida was born in Addis Ababa in 1974. She later attended high school in Canada where she studied photography. She graduated in film from Howard University, Washington D.C. in 2001. Aida is the recipient of the 2007 European Union Prize of the Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie, in Bamako, Mali and winner of the 2010 CRAF International Award of Photography in Spilimbergo, Italy.
Aida’s works are found in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Biblical Art, New York. She has exhibited her works in Belgium, Canada, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mali, the Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, South Africa, the UAE and USA.
Opening day. May 31st, 2013 at 6:00pm, Galleria TO.MO.CA which is located in front of Canadian Embassy in Sar Bet, For more information, call at +251 933527134.
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.
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. Read more…
Emperor Menelik II (1844-1913), one of the most documented and beloved figures in Ethiopian history, made an impressive attempt to change Ethiopia and its feudal system for ever. From his capital of Addis Ababa, founded only a few short years before he became emperor, Menelik directed the process of changing Ethiopia from a traditional to modern polity. His period of rule saw the introduction of electricity, telephone, telegraph, cinema, public schools, printing press, and hospitals. The Emperor employed European advisors to modernize his army, to introduce modern communications and transportation. He was savvy enough to embrace the new technology of his time—photography— as he was well aware that a picture with the insignia of his office could only enhance power. The emperor was introduced to the new technology by his Swiss councilor, Alfred Ilg. Read more…
If you’ve opened a magazine or newspaper in the past couple of decades, there’s a decent chance you’ve seen the work of Getachew Admase. The 71-year-old Ethiopian photo journalist has photographed portraits of many people, both famous and unknown – royalty, authors, artists, actors, and leading businessmen as well as “ordinary people” in a series of work reports for publications such as for Addis Zemen, the Ethiopian Herald and the defunct Ethiopia Mirror, Menen, Yekatit. His subjects include Emperor Haile Selassie, Prime Minster Aklilu Habte wolde, President Mengestu Haile Mariam, renowned statesman and author Haddis Alemayehu, poet and painter Gebre Kirstos Desta, and another painter Afewerk Tekele. In his more than five decades of work, Getachew has documented Ethiopia’s ethnic and religious diversity, as well as important events in the country’s modern history, both before and immediately after the 1974 revolution. In an era when photographers faced many technical disadvantages, he started with a Roller Flex camera and did not use a Nikon until the 1990s.
(Haddis Alemayehu, author of the Ethiopian classic Fikir Eske Mekabir and a statesman who served as Ethiopia’s representative to the UN.)
A photography exhibition with focus on environmental issues has opened on Tuesday night at the National museum, Addis Ababa. The show featuring the work of Ethiopian photographer Binyam Mengesha explores the degradation of the environment, and chronicles the dynamic changes that are both natural and man-made.
Including some 100 photos, the collection focuses on pastoralists, sedentary farmers who are trying to preserve their traditional way of life in an environment of devastating drought and advancing climate change.