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

 

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Photo courtesy of @sahraisha

#BlackOutEid​: Young Black Muslims Shine as They Celebrate Eid

Young Black Muslims have found creative ways to celebrate community and share their best Eid looks, even as they #StayAtHome.

Eid Mubarak to our Muslim fam! Today marks Eid al-Fitr, the official end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Despite things being a little different this year (on account of the current pandemic, of course) this hasn't stopped many from finding creative ways to fast, pray and connect with their community during these times. It certainly hasn't stopped young Black Muslims from participating in the virtual tradition known as #BlackOutEid while they continue to #StayAtHome.

#BlackOutEid is an annual celebration which highlights the diversity within the Muslim world. It began in 2015, when Aamina Mohamed created the hashtag to combat the erasure of Black people within the community. Since then, the hashtag has been used across social media with Black Muslims using it to share their sharpest Eid looks.

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