One thing that I have learnt from my experiences in directing the Addis Foto Fest is that the first is not the hardest; it’s actually the second. The main reason being that events such as a festival at first can seem ambitious unless you are able to make it a fixed part in the cities cultural calendar. With this said, when I look back in my experiences as an exhibiting artist as well as a patron in the various festivals across the globe, I realize that cultural events and projects are an integral part in the promotion and dissemination of creativity from the continent. Africa in its diversity, heritage and history has much to offer in terms of contemporary art and culture. And now with the increase of indigenous curators and cultural workers, tools such as the Internet and social media have become a catalyst for a new global dialogue on cultural productions as it relates within the borders of Africa and beyond.
Hence, the main objective for the third edition of the Addis Foto Fest is to explore the notion of image through a global framework. At times, one thing that I have found to be limiting to the development of photography in Africa has been due to the fact that our vision has been set on producing content from and only for audiences within our borders or regions, while our aim should be towards exploring and promoting images from Africa to the global network. I have seen the tendency of becoming a big fish in a small pond and at times this can lead to meritocracy. Accordingly in the perspective of the Addis Foto Fest, our aim is always reflected in our passion to be curious and innovative.
So as we move into 2014, we are striving to grow the festival by attracting both new and returning audiences as well as partners for our weeklong program. We also want to engage our audience by providing various platforms for exploring the power and language of visual aesthetics as it relates to modern society. After all, an image is a thousand words and through Addis Foto Fest we strive to promote the global exchange of images in order to educate, inspire and foster understanding as it relates to Africa and the global community.
Aida Muluneh | Director/Founder | Addis Foto Fest | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia January 7, 2014
Addis Foto Fest December 1- 7, 2014