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14 Mind-Blowing Images From Aida Muluneh's Solo Exhibition

Ethiopian photographer Aida Muluneh's 'The World is 9' is now on view at David Krut Projects NYC.

Aida Muluneh, The World is 9 at David Krut Projects NYC. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.


Living in Addis Ababa for the past nine years has been eye-opening for Aida Muluneh. “A lesson in humility, and a lesson in what it means to return to a land that was foreign to me,” the Ethiopian visual artist and photographer writes.

Muluneh’s new solo show at David Krut Projects in New York City takes its name from an expression her grandmother would tell her as a child: “The world is 9, it is never complete and it’s never perfect.” It’s a lesson that’s stuck throughout her time living in Addis Ababa.

“In this world, we are idealists seeking perfection but living in a reality which does not afford us that balance,” writes Muluneh. “Life is unpredictable and imperfect – we must conquer these challenges with strength and endurance because the world within us and the world knocking on our door, bears the unknown future.”

Through these experiences, Muluneh says she was inspired to create 28 new pieces of work. Each image in The World is 9 is itself an exploration of questions about life, love, and history. Muluneh says her intent with the art is to ask provocative questions “about the life that we live – as people, as nations, as beings.”

Muluneh’s work on body painting is inspired by traditional body art from across the African continent. “Each work is a reflection of conscious and sub-conscious manifestations of time and space,” she writes.

Check out a preview of Aida Muluneh’s 'The World is 9' below. The show is on view at David Krut Projects NYC (526 West 26th Street SUITE 816) through April 16th.

Aida Muluneh, The Morning Bride, 2016. Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 GSM, 80 x 80 cm, 2016. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.

Aida Muluneh, Sai Mado / The distant gaze, 2016. Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 GSM, 80 x 80 cm, 2016. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.

Aida Muluneh, For all they care, 2016. Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 GSM, 80 x 80 cm, 2016. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.

Aida Muluneh, For those who ride in the wind, 2016. Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 GSM, 80 x 80 cm, 2016. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.

Aida Muluneh, Strength in honor, 2016. Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 GSM, 80 x 80 cm, 2016. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.

Aida Muluneh, City Life, 2016. Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 GSM, 80 x 80 cm, 2016. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.

Aida Muluneh, Rules of engagement, 2016. Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 GSM, 80 x 80 cm, 2016. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.

Aida Muluneh, Conversation, 2016. Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 GSM, 80 x 80 cm, 2016. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.

Aida Muluneh, Dinkenesh Part One, 2016. Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 GSM, 80 x 80 cm, 2016. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.

Aida Muluneh, Romance is dead, 2016. Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 GSM, 80 x 80 cm, 2016. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.

Aida Muluneh, Tizita/Nostaligia, 2016. Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 GSM, 80 x 80 cm, 2016. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.

Aida Muluneh, The more loving one (Part One), 2016. Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 GSM, 80 x 80 cm, 2016. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.

Aida Muluneh, The more loving one (Part Two), 2016. Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 GSM, 80 x 80 cm, 2016. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.

Aida Muluneh, Things Fall Apart, 2016. Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 GSM, 80 x 80 cm, 2016. Image courtesy of David Krut Projects.

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7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Ethic's Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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