Ethiopia Bans Exhibition of Nude Photography

Ethiopia bans nude pics (News24, South Africa)

June 27, 2008

Addis Ababa - Ethiopia has slapped a ban on what had been billed as the Horn of Africa nation’s first exhibition of nude photography, the photographer behind the show said on Wednesday.

Biniam Mengesha, 28, told AFP he had been planning to show 45 photos at the unprecedented exhibition – titled “Black Diamonds” – in the capital Addis Ababa from Friday through to July 4.

“Authorities from the ministry of culture asked me to submit my photos before the exhibition was inaugurated. Afterwards, they said: ‘This isn’t art, it’s pornography’,” Biniam said.

“The photographs are fine art and include partial nudity aided by digital photography. Had it not been censored, it would have been the first in our country.”

Biniam said he is arranging to show his images elsewhere in Africa in two months time. Culture ministry officials declined to comment.

Ethiopia is a largely conservative society, whose 81 million people are mostly Orthodox Christians and Muslims.

6 Responses to “Ethiopia Bans Exhibition of Nude Photography”


  1. 1 Bogale Jun 30th, 2008 at 2:59 am

    What is this. Nude pics of Ethiopians, shame on you Binny,show best pics of Ethiopian people and culture.

  2. 2 ANS Oct 21st, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    The ones that said this is porn is freaking stupid………..
    There is a big difference between Art and porn and obviously ignorant people don’t know the
    difference. Nude photos are beautiful especially when the lighting is done correctly.
    Nude photography is beautiful in that it lets people appreciate their body and see how beautiful the human body really is. This type of art work is amazing for art and for self esteem. SO those who think nude photography is porn, EDUCATE YOURSELVES and stop living in the 1800′s. STOP BEING STUPID and look at the beauty.

    AS

  3. 3 Travis Hicks Feb 8th, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Thank for your work. Good topic

  4. 4 hayes Apr 5th, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    How sad; Ethiopians have some of the most genetically diverse people on earth and the old mores will always rear their head and squash art. What is normal? Surely beauty should be more important than the fear that something maybe improper. I commend the effort and wish the best of luck the artist.

  5. 5 Rene Gingras Oct 29th, 2009 at 1:19 am

    It’s not porn in my eyes, it’s a form of art & Creation. Not to allow this would be crazy.

  6. 6 Ty Dec 31st, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Look. I am a Canadian with an Ethiopian wife. My view on this as an outsider is that nudity is not porn. Nudity is not something to fear. I have seen this discussion on other Ethiopian sites, and I see many many people going on, and on, and on about “culture” and how Ethiopia is a “holy land”. That is all non-sense. I have visited Ethiopia multiple times and I am not being mean or rude when I say, your culture is not as amazing as you think. The only real “cultural” aspect of Ethiopian life is the famous coffee ceremony. Other than this, it’s just abunch of conservative old people. The youth is begining to evolve with the world. If Ethiopia as a country does not want to continuefalling behind the rest of the world, evolution of your society is needed. Do not be afraid to adapt new ideas. You can’t run a country like it’s the year 1930 forever. Ethiopia is not a Holy Land. There is not 1 religion in the world that says it is. Let the people have freedom to do what they want. No one is forcing you to look at these photos. There is porn everywhere in Canada, but it dies not mean my grandmother is obligated to look at it! Everyone needs to grow up and realize that Ethiopia will change. Relax with the religious view on everything, who are you to decide what god wants us to do. God created beautiful people, if these people wish to use their bodies to survive, nude photography is a much better option than prostitution. Give these girls options. In a country with rediculous gender discrimination, this will give girls a good, honest source of money. Live free!!

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