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Is a picture really worth a thousand words? You can find out for yourself at the second Addis Foto Fest. Addis Ababa’s International Photography festival is scheduled for the 3rd of December up to the 8th, 2012. The festival was a success back in 2010, and promises to display the great works of different artists from around the world.
Photographers from Africa, the US and Europe will showcase their works in different venues around the city, such as the Italian Cultural Institute, the Goethe Institute, Alliance Ethio-Française, the National Theater.
“Photography has started to become a big thing in Africa now. Before, this form of art was not well represented and displayed as much as, for example, painting,” said Aida Muluneh, Director and Curator of the festival. During the festival multiple events will take place daily including exhibitions, portfolio reviews, workshops, panel discussions as well as film screenings. The event will offer the residents and artists of Addis Ababa a unique opportunity to engage with international photographers and curators.
“There are so many things that are expressed through pictures; sometimes words just fail to address an issue and a fantastic picture is the only thing that will do a story justice,” stated Aida.
Nine exhibitions will open during the festival week with the inaugural exhibition being “Addis Transformation” at theTaitu Hotel. This particular exhibition is said to be a visual dedication to the 125th anniversary of the city of Addis Ababa; photographers will show their documentation of one of the fastest growing cities in Africa.
The artists featured in the festival were not selected through an application process. Most of them are already established in the photography industry, which raises the question, why aren’t up and coming Ethiopian photographers featured in the festival?
“When I chose who to feature in the exhibitions, I chose those who have the most interesting and exceptional work. It was based on the quality and standard of the artist’s work. We will also have a workshop for aspiring photographers; their portfolios will be reviewed and critiqued and the best ones will be selected to feature their work in other exhibitions,” said Aida.
The closed portfolio review sessions will have the works of emerging photographers reviewed by well-known photographers such as Akinbode Akinbiya from Nigeria and John Fleetwood from South Africa.
The festival will also feature photographs that focus on the journeys of different photographers throughout Africa, as well as a collection of works from the exhibition “Life in My City Art Festival” organized in Nigeria.