Our designer Nick Alexander has worked with photographs by the Ethiopian photographer Aida Muluneh, who has portrayed Fatoumata Diawara, amongst others. This has resulted in a new aesthetic expression for Oslo World in 2018.
After leaving Ethiopia at a young age, photographer Aida Muluneh moved between Yemen, England, Cyprus, Canada and later the United States, where she worked as a photographer in The Washington Post. Muluneh developed her skills as a documentary photographer, but still felt drawn towards a more artistic expression, while experiencing a growing desire to get better acquainted with her own birthplace, Ethiopia.
In 2007, Muluneh moved back to Ethiopia to explore both of these dreams. She has since been exhibited all over the world, last at MOMA in New York and she is the founder of Addis Foto Fest, Ethiopia’s first two-year exhibition of photographs from all over the world.
“Some of these images are like a personal diary,” Muluneh says about her series of vivid, almost surrealistic portraits, “The World is Nine”. Muluneh emphasizes that this is not to say that the works are autobiographical, however she describes the series as a “symbolic” attempt to delve into the many layers of her uniquely multifaceted diasporic culture, and through that complicate both her and our own ideas of how we live “as people, as nations, as beings”.