To come to terms with the reality of Ethiopia is always the step one of creative process. There is a lot our imagination will not allow to explore as the ropes of our tradition and learning has been to ignore impulses that question.
Zellan Creative and Cultural Centre is meant to break that cycle. What ever you can imagine to work on or question, we believe the world is ready to hear you.
Originally, the du-rag was the headgear worn by poor laborers and slaves in the 19th century. During the Black Power movement — a political movement that emphasized racial pride and economic empowerment in the late 1960s — the du-rag was revived among African Americans, particularly rappers, athletes and young men. Eventually, the du-rag evolved into a hairstyle preserver.
I am writing this text safely tucked in a studio apartment in Basha Wolde Condominium, Arat Kilo, Addis Ababa. Although the city is not in total lockdown, I barely leave my home, except for sporadic coffee breaks at a café downstairs. At least once a day, I make my way down from the fourth floor – pausing at the balcony of each story to look out at the city and check if it is still there and indeed intact between my climbs down each staircase. The pauses get longer with the passing days, and my gazes more unsure and less futile.
What’s a job? Is it something you do to sustain yourself? Or something that gives your life meaning? Or it’s a just a made up thing by the system? I couldn’t help but think of the state of the Ethiopian graduate when I saw Eeb Allay Ooo on the We Are One film festival on YouTube.
Yes COVID-19 is tearing us a new one on all fronts, on some more than other but it is very important to look past this and look forward to a better time. The COVID-19 pandemic will change things and we wish for some of these charming “complexities” of creative professional life in Addis would go away.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been reaching havoc across the world businesses and governments have been scrambling to cope with the effects of the pandemic. In the midst of all this, smaller but bolder initiatives have been arising and giving way to a certain brave stance against a humongous threat and coming up with feasible solutions that will end up saving lives.
My passion for photography was sparked by my late uncle who was a portrait photographer. While he was alive I used to go to his studio and observe him. In 2016, I decided to pursue photography professionally and began teaching myself how to take memorable photographs.
A lot of things inspire me, like human psychology and emotions different states of human joy, happiness and etc. I take inspiration from other artists as well, like Jean-Michel Basquiat, his art has this raw feel, you can see shades of that in my art. I also took pages from DaVinci, he really respects the art he practices and give it the time it deserves.
With the current news over 80 confirmed (and 14 recovered. Important to state those too) cases in the country and the news that the prime minister’s office has closed schools and sporting events as well as other mass gatherings.
As a friend of mine pointed out in her blog (check out corena musings) there is this unexplained gulp in our collective that some of us mistake for symptoms of COVID-19. This tiny particle that could potentially be the end of us.
Is an animated sitcom movie, that is created by me, the story involves around six family members father Dashe, mother Ete, daughter Derry, son 1 Enkush, son 2 Ekuye and house maid Bilcha. We wrote their stories based on many Ethiopians. The family represents the average Ethiopian family. It’s not all laughs and fun, we also discuss important issues about racial differences, children going to school, women rights and other messages that can teach while entertaining. Mender is going to celebrate the many cultures of Ethiopia
We are Dot Advert, an advertising company established in 2016, with the vision of enhancing the art of advertising. Dot Advert was founded by a team of four architects – Binyam G., Biruh T., Etana A. & Joseph D. Early on from school days, we were fascinated with art and found ourselves taking different art classes. We also used to experiment with different graphic design software.
Yeah… productivity at home! Something we all want to have but in reality… can’t adapt either because we have kids (God help you if they’re teenagers or like ask too many questions) or simply because home is just too comfortable. So how do you separate your home space from your work space, At home?
I consider myself as a self-taught artist with some knowledge gained from Art academies. I am highly inspired by the beauty of African ethnic elements such as adornments and symbols which I incorporate in to my artworks. In addition, I also started to use my artworks to represent social issues especially those issues that are a challenge to women in our society. I have been administering my social media page by the name ‘kuku’s pencil’ and using it as platform to share my artworks for the past four years.
So you’re at home. Or will be. And you thought hey, maybe this a good opportunity to get that… we’re gonna call it… project for intents and purposes. You’ll get that project done! Yeah! You’re excited and can’t wait to get a crack at it. It’s amazing. You’re feeling the creative juices owing. It’s getting there. YEAH! FUCK YEAH!
My name is Kunjina Tesfaye, founder and CEO of KUNJINA. I did my bachelor’s degree in construction technology and management at EIABC, Addis Ababa University. Since i was young, I loved fashion and not only wished but knew deep down that I was going to become a fashion designer one day.
In the complexities of the creative life. There is the one thing any true “artist” *looks at himself in a mirror* wants to achieve. Pure art. Yes, that includes when the ministry of health asks you to design a poster to combat open defecation. Because if there is anything that’ll stop it, it’s an artistic poster *looks at himself in a mirror*. But what the client wants is…. Specific *takes off sun glasses* and the specificity doesn’t sit well with you.
Marajane’s life was very simple. She loved French fries with ketchup (who doesn’t) Bruce Lee was her favorite hero and she only had two obsessions. To one day, shave her legs and become the last prophet of the galaxy. With these very bold statements Persepolis, a triumphant achievement in biographical storytelling that unfolds in gorgeous black and white animation.
The main themes in my work are femininity, motherhood, and parenthood. I draw people and moments that touch or touched my heart, such as gestures of the affinity between mothers and their children, families, and friends. The starting point for my works generally is a person I am close to, but as the process progresses, the specific identity of the person is slightly obscured in order to emphasize the movement and rhythm that are created.
The world isn’t fair. Sometimes you’ve got an idea and it’s a brilliant one, but you’re either left alone to do it or other people around you don’t want to help you out because they don’t understand your vision. When Dagem and Nasredin took the Creative Futures Programme’s Event management training back in 2018, they had to form a group from with present trainees and come up with an event idea that they can work on together.
My name is Diana Tekleab. I am a Designer and a 4th Year Architecture student. Also, the founder and designer at inkDin Handmade. I specialize in pattern design and art pieces. The pattern design includes Mandalas and Zen tangles. Mandalas as I define them are shapes filled with patterns. They associate with meditation, balance, and harmony; of patterns, lines and shapes.
My name is GEREMEW TIGABU, a passionate street photographer based in Addis. I believe that the streets of Addis hide many secrets waiting to be scavenged. This passion has led me to present what I love at the Addis Foto Fest 2016, become one of the winners at the 2017 “celebrate Africa photography competition”. My work was also published on the guardian.
I woke up late night on a Wednesday to meet a dead- line I gave to myself. Finish a painting before morning. The problem was, I had nothing. I tried drinking coffee but all that did was excite my empty mind. I felt like I was watching TV but someone else was holding the remote.
Well this month we saw two things that really impressed us the most. One being a series. A mockumentary series about a women only commune that turned wrong. For the characters in the series. For us it’s mostly hilarious.
The premise is fairly simple. A female journalist goes undercover and films her experience in said commune to experience the sudden change of the commune from a women centric thing to well… ah very bizarre cult to an even stranger turn of events.
In an effort not to spoil the film, the getz film review team, will tell you about said film experience in the least spoilery (not a word) way possible and avoid letters from angry Asian film aficionados, Asian film aficionado wannabes and hate mail from the people of NAME REDACTED.
The holiday season in New York is never easy. Especially for an Ethiopian. This time of the year, it’s just mid-2012. For everyone else however, it’s a much bigger deal. To Abebe, the Christmas season puts a whole damper on his mood. A damper he doesn’t need. Especially, because he’s two weeks away from submitting an installation for a charity event aimed at supporting starving children in Africa.
Given the fact that most artists should be the voice of reason and progress and awake your inner anti-capitalist self (ignore that last part if you disagree), it has started sharing a strange ecosystem with the marketing industry. We’re not saying it’s a bad thing, not necessarily, but if you thought of great artistic expression just twenty years ago, in Ethiopia.
When tragedy strikes, often, it leaves a scar too painful to look at that we either can’t stop looking at it and it dictates your life or you ignore and you do everything you can to forget it and it dictates your life. It’s a hard choice. You’re left with two options submit to this fate or do the opposite. Do something completely irrational and unpredictable that it breaks the cycle.
My works generally revolves around, how the certainty of representation relates with the ever changing and dynamic human reality. In the broader sense, representation can be understood as creating a correspondence between the nature of a subject represented and that of the medium employed. The correspondence theory of truth was also one of the well-articulated subjects in modern philosophy.
Abyssinia Design is a team inspired by the culture of Ethiopia and Africa. We like to combine mainly the color, typography, patterns and much more and create unique designs. Our designs mainly focus on minimalism, because when a design is not overcrowded the audience tends to be more receptive.
A Pure obsession with a daily thought process, ” Observe – Think – Create “, constant inspirations, unrestricted intellectual curiosity, and the urge to live within & solve problems are the motives that guide us both as individuals & as a studio. Questioning the default, challenging assumptions are common phrases you hear flying over at Kuncho.
Photography to me is the art of preserving life; moments captured in a photograph are perfectly preserved while all-else wallows in constant flux. The range of emotions a single photo can radiate is inspiring. I use my photography to tell stories that I feel strongly about.
Have you ever decided one day, just randomly, to design Africa (the country) and represent African lifestyle in designs? Well No worries! This guide is for you! We at Getz decided to give you a small guide on how to design African things. Because it’s that easy. In these easy steps, you will know how to develop designs that speak of the complex but simple nature of African art. How different can it be… Right?
As a child, I was a bit difficult because of my curiosity to find out how things were made or become what they are, which usually ended up with me destroying stuff or trying to put things together. This part of me along with my obsession with art made me who I am today.
In the middle ages, the catholic church “hired” all sorts of artists to decorate the inside of chapels and churches. However, if you pay close attention to history (not that we did any deep dive into the relationship between the artists and the church in the middle ages and renaissance times but do we really have to, you prove the point we’re about to state?) not all artists exactly believed in God. However, some needed the coin and others needed to escape the noose (and other horrible deaths) so they played along and painted away the church’s desires.
In Addis, we share spaces with strangers as well as close acquaintances – each with their own understanding and requirement for privacy. Taking the public transit area, specifically the blue mini bus taxis, as a basis for this installation we observe how people behave differently based on the amount of space they put between themselves and others. PROXEMICS, as an attempt to interpret the spatial divide at play across the city, also emphasizes the need to mediate between the dichotomies created through space: visible – invisible, public-private.
As a Muslim woman, I grew up in a community that was conservative and focused on design that is often mute. I felt, that there could be a way in which we can make and follow trends, whilst staying true to the culture. In this way, I draw my inspiration from Islamic patterns, which often lean towards geometric shapes and patterns.
Binyam W. Adenew a CG artist and ASTU Bachelor’s degree graduate majored in architectural engineering. Currently working on visual arts and trying to express ideas and stories through paintings, sculptures… I chose this medium because it aligned perfectly with my skills and it allows me to tell stories and give flesh to moments that are meant to be
In relation to this Crownz Global produces value-added “Gabi” made apparel which is a staple textile product of Ethiopia. The threads used to make the product are all locally sourced & sown together by Ethiopians. This can be called African art in a different manner as compared to the case above.
Zoma Museum is a dream come to life for architects, artisits and anyone that loves the relationship Art has with nature. Imagine walking in a space and being hit with both the art in architecture and nature. Inspired by the timeless and structurally sound vernacular architecture of Ethiopia and other parts of the world, Zoma is named after Zoma Shiferraw, a young artist who died of cancer in 1979.
When artists gather in a small space, say a room, ready to devise a project an enticing and reverberating energy ensues. There’s hope, there’s possibility, and there is unbridled passion. One topic that unfailingly deflates this bubble is a conversation surrounding money.
We all like to think that money isn’t an issue when it comes to creative activities. For some reason, people find it okay to avoid paying creatives their due because either the hard work isn’t valued enough or you’re your own worst enemy… “hey… yes… pay me whatever…” or “whatever you think is fair” Either way, most of us are broke and we need a way out.
Have you ever gone into a film expecting it to be something and then it ended up being a whole other thing but that whole other thing is like… a million times better than you expected? This, is what Gangs of Wasseypur is. Pure unfiltered fun. There is no other way to describe this film. It’s like you walk in expecting a musical and walk into a chainsaw massacre!!!
I consider myself to be one of those unlucky individuals born on planet earth (unlike superman) without any innate abilities. It took a lot of sitting in front of the computer and just trying everything until something stuck. Though luckily I did get a massive dose of design skills while taking up architecture at school. They say architecture is the Godfather of all art and I have been blessed with all that it had to offer.
Tibeb is the name given for traditional Ethiopian textile patterns that are hand woven by skilled people. It also translates to wisdom. We make leather goods that are influenced by Ethiopia’s rich history of craftsmanship. Incorporating the skills our ancestors used to weave history into the very fabric they wore.
He kneels down to ask her hand in marriage. She was shocked. Not the good kind of shock. She was expecting it but she was dreading it. She quieted her thoughts down and nodded in negation. As he got up in silence. He asks her:
Her: I don’t want to.
She sits down on a bench nearby
For most people engaged in creative activities, you know, people commonly defined as “creatives”, “unconventional”, “outside the box thinkers” or “foreign to the concept of a hair salon”, the nine to five life is commonly associated with a feeling of being trapped or the feeling a person experiences when said person watches other people having fun in the sunlight while he/she is behind a glass window.
My designs are very practical and intended for everyday use, with a few exceptions you’d rock at an art show. I make sure the products we make are wearable and functional for our customers and at the same time are up to date with the fashion industry in addition to representing what the brand stands for.
When Homer wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey, it is believed that he went on a swim, bought some moussaka and fed it to a giant woman after she whispered a secret that inspired the two epics.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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