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Addis Foto Fest cementing its place as Africa’s premium photography event 

Addis Foto Fest cementing its place as Africa’s premium photography event 

The fifth edition of Addis Foto Fest kicked off on Thursday at the Sheraton Hotel. The biennial festival has been a staple of East African photography for the last decade, showcasing the works of new and emerging artists from the continent and across the world.

Organized by Desta for Africa (DFA) Creative Consulting and the Embassy of Switzerland in Ethiopia, AFF’s reach in Ethiopia and the region has expanded this year.

Photographers from 20 African countries along with artists from Asia, Europe, Americas and the Middle East are part of the festival.

The “Photography in Ethiopia” exhibition that started the five-day festival presented 34 Ethiopian photographers, 16 of which had undergone a photography workshop with famed photographer and AFF founder Aida Muluneh.

As Aida put in her welcoming address, “AFF was first conceived to promote Africa through an event that showed the world its’ immense talent, while also generating serious discourse on the lack of balanced visual perspectives in relation to Africa by the photography industry as a whole; an industry that has often viewed our continent though a single lens. Our goal remains to address these issues and further dialogue on the importance of developing new talents and institutions through global networks to define our own visual language.”

The only international photography festival in East Africa, AFF has received the highest number of submissions from Africans this year, cementing its place as an important event showcasing the continent visual story.

Artists, photographers and enthusiasts attended the opening ceremony marveling at the diverse approaches Photography in Ethiopia participants had taken to tell their individual stories. Photographers like Naod Lemma, Aron Simeneh and Nader Adem showed their works alongside emerging artists like SehinTewabe and Abdi Bekele.

TarekegnTesfaye’s moving ‘Yitayish’ series about his late mother was alongside MekbibTadesse’s whimsical ‘Tewista’, a visual account of his family members. MulugetaAyene’s ‘Ethiopian Spring’ presented the various changes in the Ethiopian politics from the streets of Addis.

Robel Temesgen’s multimedia contemplation of public spaces was presented in ‘Constituent of a Monument’.Candid portraits by Naod Lemma (‘Ordinary Existence’) were alongside NetsanetFekadu’s ‘Charms of the Nile’.

Experimental pieces like TedrosTeffera’s ‘Cradled’ and DawitGeressu’s ‘Vantage Point’ were shown alongside Abel Takele’s ‘Workers in Motion’ and NebilaAbdulmelik’s ‘Layered Memories’.

The main collection featuring the works of photographers from around the world is on view at Kana Studio.

The festival will feature workshops, presentations and master classes at Ale School of Fine Art and Design. A photography award ceremony on Monday December 10 will close the festival.