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The second edition of Addis Foto Fest opened on Monday December 3 at Taitu Hotel with an exhibition themed ‘Addis Transformation: Urbanization, Society and Environment in Addis Ababa.’ The Addis Transformation exhibition was dedicated to the celebration of Addis Ababa’s 125th anniversary.
The exhibition showcased photos of construction sites, new buildings, roads and various places that show the progress of Addis Ababa. It looked at the city through a six month project on the impact of urbanization. Addis Foto Fest delivered a series of interesting works by both young and enterprising photographers such as Mulugeta Ayene and Samuel Habtab as well as veteran Belete Tekele who captured visitors’ attention with his 1968 and 1969 photography of Addis Ababa. The Addis Transformation project is created by Aida Muluneh and was sponsored by Heinrich Boll Stiftung Ethiopia. Meanwhile, another photographic exhibition, the “Invisible Borders” that showed the journey of twelve photographers such as Daniels Okeugo, Jumoke Sanwo and writer Emmanuel Iduma through Africa opened to the public on Tuesday December 4, 2012 at the African union Conference center and the fun continued on to the National Theater Gallery where eight African photographers among whom, one Ethiopian photographer, Capital’s Mulugeta Ayene, took part, showed their view of different parts of Spain. This exhibition shows the works of photographers who got to go to different cities in Spain and take pictures that best explain the culture and people of the country.
The festival also held a series of discussions in areas of photography market in and out of Africa and the art of telling a story through photojournalism. These series were really motivating and helpful for those interested in perusing a career in photojournalism or in photography in general.
Other exhibitions that were shown include the Merkato Photo Workshop exhibition that featured the works of photography students from South Africa and an exhibition entitledKhartoum that featured the works of Ala Kheir.
The festival didn’t just feature photo exhibitions, discussions and portfolio reviews. It also had some film screenings that showed films such as Restless City by Andrew Dosunmu which was the award winning film at the Colors of the Nile Film Festival and Blow-Up, a 1966 film by Michelangelo Antonioni about a photographer who believes he may have witnessed a murder and unwittingly taken photographs of the killing.