Ethiopian photographer Aida Muluneh’s exhibits are a compelling representation of what her grandmother once told her: that life is only ever a nine, never a perfect 10.
The “Memory of Hope” and “World is 9” exhibits are currently on display in the Fountain Gallery in downtown Lafayette, and the photographs feature models on exquisitely crafted backgrounds of bold reds, yellows and blues.
Muluneh will be on campus Friday for her gallery reception and a talk titled “Crossroads in Afro-futurism and Fine Art,” which will take place at 3 p.m. in Matthews Hall, Room 210.
For Muluneh, “Memory of Hope” is a reflection on the world — issues of racism, migration, women’s rights — while “World is 9” is a reflection on what’s inside. The main objective of both, however, is to share Muluneh’s thoughts and experiences with the world.
The photographer was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but has lived in Yemen, England, Cyprus, and Canada, as well as the U.S.
Perhaps predestined to be an artist, Muluneh has always been drawn to everything visual. She first realized she wanted to be a photographer during her childhood in Canada, when she discovered the misconceptions that people held about Ethiopia and the African diaspora.
“I knew that I wanted to be active in addressing the perceptions and to make my contribution to sharing a different reality through photography,” Muluneh said in an email. “The things that I know about Africa are often not seen in the media, hence I decided to dedicate my life’s work in showing the world a more complex reality of my country.”
“I do believe that to create a balanced perspective on Ethiopia, then we would have to be part of telling these stories through our lenses,” Muluneh said. “Hence, through DFA, the establishment of the Addis Foto Fest (a biennial photography festival) was a response for the need of not only educating photographers but also the society, on the role of photography as a tool to educate, inspire and promote the country.”
Muluneh does both commercial and fine art photography. Each inspires the other and neither has a large distinction for her, in the end.
“Through it all, I want my images to transmit a specific message that addresses ideas, thoughts, and realities of a contemporary Africa,” she said.
Muluneh’s work will be featured in the Museum of Modern Art’s “The Being: New Photography 2018” exhibition. She said she is honored to be a part of it and feels it is especially important because of her focus on diversity in the photography industry.
Source Prude exponent