Art Talk: Photography in Ethiopia & Guyana

Image: By Karran Sahadeo of Guyana), Untitled, 2014. Digital Print, 11.7 x 16.5. (Courtesy of the artist)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

New York (TADIAS) — Award-winning photographers Aida Muluneh from Ethiopia and Grace Aneiza Ali of Guyana will present their work and participate in a conversation about photography in their respective countries at an event hosted by the Independent Curators International (ICI) next week in New York City.

ICI announced that the two artists “will offer their thoughts on the connections and intersections on the contemporary photography coming out of these two regions and the ways in which both photography communities negotiate politics of representation.”

“Via her work as a photographer, and founder/curator of the Addis Foto Fest, Addis Ababa’s first international photography festival, Aida Muluneh has been forging new platforms to explore the ways in which the image of Africa is projected, interpreted, negotiated, and marketed in the global world,” ICI added.

“Through various multi-media projects, Grace Aneiza Ali, a recent Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellow, explores how photographers in Guyana and its diaspora are countering the “picturing paradise” narrative the global public often sees of the Caribbean/South American region and the ways they are moving away from satisfying global appetites for the tropical and the exotic.”

Below is more on the presenters:

Aida Muluneh

Aida Muluneh is the Director/Founder of Desta for Africa. Established in 2010, it is the vision of award-winning photographer Muluneh. Born in Ethiopia in 1974, Aida left the country at a young age and spent an itinerant childhood between Yemen and England. After several years in a boarding school in Cyprus, she finally settled in Canada in 1985. In 2000, she graduated with a degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in the Communications Department with a major in film. After graduation she worked as a photojournalist at the Washington Post and other publications. As an exhibiting artist, a collection of her images can be found in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art and the Museum of Biblical Art in the United States. She is the 2007 recipient of the European Union Prize in the Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie in Bamoko, Mali, as well as the 2010 winner of the CRAF International Award of photography in Spilimbergo, Italy. Aida is the founder of the first international photography festival in Ethiopia, the Addis Foto Fest. She continues to curate and develop cultural projects with local and international institutions through her company DESTA (Developing and Educating Society Through Art) For Africa in Addis Ababa.

Grace Aneiza Ali

Guyanese-born Grace Aneiza Ali is the founder and editorial director of the award-winning OF NOTE, an online magazine centered on art and activism. She is a faculty member in the Department of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the City College of New York, CUNY, and recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award. She was a awarded a Curatorial Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for a 2016 upcoming exhibition on contemporary photography on Guyana. Her essays on contemporary art and photography have been published in Nueva Luz Photographic Journal, Small Axe Journal, among others. Highlights of her curatorial work include: Guest Curator for the 2014 Addis Foto Fest; Guest Editor of the Fall 2013 Nueva Luz Photographic Journal and author of its critical essay on contemporary Guyanese photography; and host of the “Visually Speaking” photojournalism series at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center.

If You Go:
Conversation on Photography in Ethiopia and Guyana
Aida Muluneh and Grace Aneiza Ali
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
ICI Curatorial Hub
401 Broadway, Suite 1620
FREE and open to the public
RSVP at with AIDA in the subject line.

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