Imagine, if you will, strolling through a quiet city where you may find empty intersections and very few people on the streets; a city with seemingly little connection with the outside world, as if it was located on an entirely different planet altogether.
‘Witnessing the Piece’, a group exhibition featuring young painters is on view at the Alliance Ethio-Française. The artists, Amanuel Wondwosen, Mieraf Girum and Lejkidus Bezzawork are young graduate artists trying to put a mark on the contemporary Ethiopian art scene.
While the Addis Ababa art scene is scattered around the city, Guramayne Art Center can be proposed to be one of the two centers for art making and viewing (the other being the Alle School of Art and Design). Placed above the New Art Space Studio that has housed three of the most prolific artists for nearly two decades, the area attracts emerging and established artists as well as art students eager to discuss art and create new works.
Nerd culture is universal. Whether it starts at a young age or develops later in life, some take a hobby or simple interest and develop a lifestyle around it. Youths, usually between the ages of 15 and 30, connect and gather around to a common interest like comic books, superheroes or video games. Nerd Army is one such example.
Wednesday evening kicked off with two musical events that celebrated Ethiopian and African music by fusing cultural and traditional tunes with modern contemporary music. Crowds gathered and danced for the night, wishing the concerts could have gone all night long.
In the final chapter of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, a celebrated literary work published in the 1972, which is presented as a sequence of imaginary dialogue between a Venetian traveler Marco Polo and the Tartar emperor Kublai Khan, the narrator Marco Polo describes the city of Berenice to the great Kublai Khan as product of two opposing yet integral aspects of a city. On the surface, the visible Berenice, unjust and cruel to residents; while the hidden Berenice embodies just and complex network that keeps the city running smoothly.
Bersabeh Gizaw, 28, is single. She works in a prestigious engineering firm in Addis Ababa, has good relationships with friends and co-workers, she is easy to talk to but has not been able to find a long-term life partner. Part of the difficulty, she says, is the lack of opportunities she has to meet available single men.
What is the future of shopping? What will the boutique stores of the future look like?
Perhaps intelligent robots will greet customers at the door and show people around. Or, people can try on clothes and jewellery through virtual reality or order items from home and have them delivered by drones. Such technologies are not far-fetched, in fact all of them exist in real life and it is a matter of time before they hit everyone’s doors.
Addis Gezehagn is a studio artist that has been a long time presence in Addis Ababa’s art scene. This past year, he has exhibited ‘Floating Tower’ at Addis Fine Art, a series of works that explore socio-economic disparities in the city.