The fifth Edition of Addis Foto Festival is set to start on December 6th at various locations throughout the capital. The five day festival is to welcome a record 152 participants from 61 countries.
The brain-child of Aida Muluneh – a noted Ethiopian-Canadian photographer – the gathering started in 2010 by Desta For Africa Creative Consulting PLC and is held by-annually in Addis Ababa. Described as the only of its kind in the region and one of the few across the continent, it mentors and connects photographers and “promotes the global exchange of images to educate, inspire and foster understanding as it relates to photography from Africa and the global photography community”.
According to Aida, the festival is to exhibit photos collected from around the world, to recognize the work of participants as judged by experts from the field in partnership with the National Geographic Society and connect professional photographers with amateur and emerging photographers from the region.
“Since the first edition of the Addis Foto Fest in 2010, over 25,000 audience members have taken part in our combined previous edition. Our main goal for the first edition is to explore the power of the image in a global setting and to engage a large audience not only through our local exhibition in several venues around Addis Ababa, but also through the promotion of our activities via prevalent online networks and media partnership across the world,” said a statement sent to The Reporter from Desta For Change.
The event is supported by the Embassy of Switzerland, Sheraton Addis, Canon, the National Geographic Society, Marriott, Castel Winery, the Roger Ballen Foundation and Tourism Ethiopia, among many others.
“We have attempted to gain our footing, in terms of finding local sponsorship locally, but we have not been as successful as we would have liked,” Aida told The Reporter at a press conference held at Sheraton Addis on Thursday.
In a related news, Aron Semeneh has been appointed as the official photographer for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD). He was previously the official photographer of AWIB Ethiopia, the feminist organization based in Addis Ababa.