#Okay100Women

AIDA MULUNEH

OkayAfrica's 100 Women celebrates African women who are making waves, shattering ceilings, and uplifting their communities.

Aida Muluneh is a photographer and filmmaker of Ethiopian descent. She was born in Addis Ababa but grew up in Yemen, England, Cyprus and Canada before landing in the U.S. for her undergraduate studies.




The cultural entrepreneur graduated from Howard University in Washington D.C, and later worked for the Washington Post as a photographer. Muluneh is a world renowned exhibiting artist—she’s the winner of the prestigious European Union Prize in the Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie—and some of her images reside in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art Hood Museum, and the Museum of Biblical Art in the U.S.



She notably won the CRAF International Award of Photography in Spilimbergo, Italy in 2010, and published a coffee table book—Ethiopia: Past/Forward.



Muluneh also has her own company, Developing and Educating Society Through Art or DESTA. The celebrated artist also started Ethiopia’s first photography festival, Addis Foto Fest, in 2010. It is East Africa’s premier photography fest that features exhibitions, conferences, portfolio reviews and recently, awards for emerging and established photographers.



-JO

Interview

Spotlight: Expression is Synonymous With Exploring in Khulekani Cele’s Art Pieces

Durban fine artist Khulekani Cele's abstract style of painting stems from his penchant for exploration.

In our 'Spotlight' series, we highlight the work of photographers, visual artists, multimedia artists and more who are producing vibrant, original work. In our latest piece, we spotlight 27-year-old Durban-based fine artist Khulekani Cele. He's known for his abstract style of painting covering such themes as stereotypes, perception, gender and identity. A proponent of education, Cele holds an honours degree in visual arts from the Durban University of Technology. The freedom to create is evident in his work where different paint strokes overlap one another.

When did you start painting?

When I was young I used to get a beating at home for writing and drawing on walls with charcoal and leaves. When I think about it now I believe that I have been creative since I was born. However, painting is one of the art mediums that, in general, is defined as applying paint to the surface using a brush or tool of your choice. Therefore, I professionally started the painting medium in 2012 when I was enrolling for my fine art course at the Durban University of Technology.

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