Art

The Photographer Fighting Visual Clichés of Africa

Aïda Muluneh’s vibrant images explore Ethiopian identity, and her photo festival aspires to shape a new vision of the continent.

In the spring of 2016, the photographer Aïda Muluneh opened a solo exhibition at the David Krut Projects gallery in New York City. The showcase came nine years after Muluneh had returned to her native Ethiopia, which she’d left as a young child in the 1980s, during the height of the country’s punishing Marxist regime. The centerpiece of the exhibit was a series of photographs called The World Is 9, which drew its name from a saying of her grandmother’s: “The world is 9, it is never complete and it’s never perfect.” For an artist whose identity is wrapped up in her delayed repatriation, the impossibility of closure—in the lives of people and nations—has proved to be a powerful theme. Continue reading …

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