Arts + Culture

These 10 Photos Offer a Taste of the Upcoming Addis Foto Fest

The East African photography event highlights work from Ethiopia, Africa, and the world at large as a means to connect and educate.

In one image, a religious leader draped in crisp white garbs stands in front of a crumbling doorway to an ancient temple. Carved deep into a cliffside, its stairs are on their way to becoming an Earthen hill. In another photo, twin siblings lay in bed, heads hanging upside down off the side to face the camera. The kids are identical except for fake vampire teeth in the mouth of one.


These are but two photographs chosen for the fourth biannual Addis Foto Fest. In its newest iteration, the festival has gone global, seeking out photographers from every inhabited continent to show their work. This will be the first international photography festival in East Africa. While it has been globalized, the shift relates to their fundamental mission: connecting Africa to the rest of the world.

"My main goal has been to have a global conversation as it relates to the role of images in educating, promoting, and disseminating a balanced perspective of Africa," Aida Muluneh tells Okayafrica. A photographer herself, Muluneh founded the festival.

A weeklong event in Addis Ababa on Dec. 15, they will showcase works by 126 photographers from 40 countries. There will also be exhibitions, portfolio reviews, a conference, a discussion panel, and of course an awards ceremony. Winners receive prizes including a digital camera and printers.

The collection, comprised entirely of digital photography, was chosen by Muluneh and various curators based on submissions from an open call. Choosing from such a broad selection was difficult, she says, but the process included "building a collection that reflects our goal of educating our audience on the large spectrum of photography." Winners are chosen through the portfolio reviews, which are supported by National Geographic.

Although there will be a first prize winner, one photo can't embody the festival in its entirety. Rather, the collection as a whole ultimately speaks for it. "It's the collective works of all the photographers that makes the festival," Muluneh explains. "Each in his or her way contribute a different perspective and approach, which offers our audience varying experiences."

To get an idea of what will be on display, view some of the collection below, courtesy of Addis Foto Fest:

Dina Oganova, Georgia

 

Sarah Waiswa, Uganda

 

Abiy Solomon, Ethiopia

Photo by Abiy Solomon, courtesy Addis Foto Fest

 

Messay Shoakena, U.S.A.

 

Sadegh Souri, Iran

 

Mahader Haileselassie, Ethiopia

 

Salma Abedin Prithi, Bangladesh

 

Yonas Tadesse, Ethiopia

 

Tahir Carl Karmali, Kenya

 

Gali Tibbon, Jerusalem

 

News Brief

Michael Kiwanuka Wins Highly Coveted 2020 Mercury Prize

The British-Ugandan artist proves that staying true to yourself will get you further than you can imagine.

British-Ugandan musician Michael Kiwanuka has gone on to win the 2020 Mercury Prize at this year's virtual awards ceremony.

The win was assigned to Kiwanuka's 2019 album KIWANUKA, produced by Danger Mouse and Inflo. KIWANUKA, Michael's third full-length so far, seems to be the artists' most personal one yet.

In his own words, Kiwanuka told New Statesman, "I thought, what better way to say that you're comfortable with who you are than by using just your name? KIWANUKA goes against fame, it goes against success. It's not in the pocket, it's not a smooth rock'n'roll name that's up in lights. It can be clumsy, if you haven't seen it before."

Well, we are certainly grateful for the singer's personal evolution as it has landed him top honors in the industry, as well as, amongst his die hard fans.

The artist said of his win, "I don't even know what to say - I'm speechless. This is amazing...I don't even have any words. This is ridiculous, it's crazy! I'm so happy. Third time's a charm. It's blown my mind. I'm over the moon, I'm so excited - this is for art, for music, for albums. This is the only thing I've ever wanted to do so to win a Mercury is a dream come true. I'm so happy. Music and art means so much to me and this is an award that celebrates that so I'm over the moon."

Watch Michael Kiwanuka's performance of "You Ain't The Problem" off of his Mercury Prize winning album "KIWANUKA" here.

Mercury Prize 2020 Winner | Michael Kiwanuka - You Ain't The Problem (Later... With Jools Holland) www.youtube.com

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Supports Removal of Apartheid Statues

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