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Art

8 artistic women on March 8

Women animatingthe Ethiopian art scene this year

Women are the driving force behind any cultural transformation and March 8 is a day to celebrate that fact. It is a day that reminds one of the everyday injustices that women face and mark the steady progress women and men are making in the Sisyphean struggle for gender equality. Below is a list of 8 women that are have added their own flavor to the local art scene through music, literature, visual arts and performance arts. It is by no means comprehensive, and there are so many more women doing their part in their respective fields but these are the women we have chosen to highlight. 

HiwotEmishaw

HIWOT EMISHAW

  HiwotEmishaw’s writing has been giving readers    a glimpse into contemporary Ethiopian lives with    her recent short story collection Fikifaki, follow      up  to her novel Baricho. Her stories challenge      the status quo by forcing society to come to          terms with accepted norms that propagate            patriarchy and systematic inequality.

 

 

 

Betty G

BETTY G

  Betty G has succeeded in bringing               contemporary  Ethiopian music to the rest of the    continent through multiple musical           collaborations.  Her humanitarian work with   refugees and continued activism for displaced   people continues to make her an artist with a   heart of gold.

 

 

 

Marta Tadesse

MARTA TADESSE

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  Marta’s photography series that          explore and document humanity in      the rural context has strong                  elements of social activism.   Through    her photographic   storytelling, Marta      campaigns for   gender equality,   access to   resources and equal opportunities.

 

 

 

 

 

Tizita Berhanu

TIZITA BERHANU

  One of the few female visual artists breaking          into   a male-dominated field, Tizita’s poignant        paintings are definitely worth a visit. Her                success   is bound to attract more female artists    to join her   ranks as she continues to pave the      way.

 

 

 

 

Selome Muleta

SELOME MULETA

  Selome’s beautiful paintings of            interpretive landscape and self-          portraits clearly show great                  execution of concepts. This was          evident in her pieces to ‘Shoa: A          Geographical Exploration’ at the          Institute of Ethiopian Studies and     ‘Motion and Emotion’ at Alliance          Ethio-Française.

 

 

 

 

Mahlet Afework

MAHLET AFEWORK

  Mahlet Afework or Mafi has been        the  face of Ethiopian fashion for a      while and continues to represent        traditional design using hand woven    garments made by women. Giving      Ethiopian traditional fashion a              modern interpretation, Mafi designs    unique pieces of high fashion.

 

 

 

 

Genet Demssie and BetelhemLeul

Artists little known outside the dance circles, Genet and Betelhem are combining their exceptional talent and technique with exquisite story telling. Destino Dance Company is the home that lets them explore contemporary dance fusion with traditional Ethiopian dance elements. The future seems bright for these two dancers.

Chelina

Breakout star of the past year, Chelina follows the steps of Betty G and countless female musicians before her in adding another tile to the Ethiopian music mosaic. Her beautiful voice is matched with her musical instincts to create unique melodies that attempt to represent these contemporary times.