James Forde
Born in Dublin 1989, son to a truck driving father and an office working mother, James hails from the green and wet lands of Ireland where he began his journey many years ago as a chef. This took him to live in London and New York. The last three years he has spent traversing through Latin America documenting social issues, perfecting his craft and trying to better understand the world around him. James hasn’t attended university or ever studied the visual arts as he left school at 16. After several different career choices he found his calling while living in El Salvador. Since then his focus has been long term documentary projects looking at the effect political decisions have on those at ground level.
Children of the Revolution
On March 5th 2013, then president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez-Frias died from a heart attack after battling cancer for almost two years. Rumors and controversy surrounded his death as his condition seemed to escalate so quickly yet most details were never publicized. His death left a gaping hole in Venezuelan society; a hole that has been filled by misery and despair. The situation in Venezuela was far from optimal when Chavez died. Crime rates had steadily been on the rise for several years, issues regarding food scarcity had begun and corruption was most certainly one of the biggest problems. Once, this Latin American nation was by far the richest and most stable in the region but that is but a distant memory many Venezuelans hold dear. Chavez ’s righthand man, Nicolas Maduro, a former bus driver, assumed power by just barely clinching victory in the hurried presidential elections after Chavez died. Since then the situation regarding all aspects of life has become dire. The country boasts some of the highest crime rates in the world outside of a declared war zone, massive food shortages due to a complete lack of an agricultural industry and 80% percent of hospitals, lacking basic medicine and equipment do not function properly. Child mortality is at an all-time high and numerous diseases such as dengue and diphtheria, once thought eradicated, are resurfacing. If things could not be any worse, Venezuela is also home to the highest currency inflation on the planet. There have been sporadic protests around the country for several years now although the situation has only become worse. The streets of Caracas erupted once more in April of 2017, several of the other larger cities in Venezuela were filled with protesters daily. Youth armed themselves with stones, fireworks, Molotov cocktails and homemade shields to protect themselves while the local police forces and National Guard fired tear gas, rubber bullets, marbles, water cannons and firearms in their direction. As the youth organized themselves, they created groups for different areas, had maps and plans and were very cautious as there was always risk of government infiltrators. At one point it seemed that they were achieving something but on the 30th of July 2017, a referendum for constitutional change went ahead and was accepted. This was a huge blow to ‘La Resistencia’ that seemed impossible to recover from. As time goes on Venezuela becomes more and more isolated and faces an uncertain future. In the last two years, official figures say that 2 million people have emigrated from the country and many more are in the process. One certainty is that things will most likely get a lot worse before they get better.

The Addis Foto Fest (AFF) was established in 2010 by award-winning photographer and cultural entrepreneur, Aida Muluneh. The festival is organized by Desta for Africa Creative Consulting PLC. AFF is a biennial international photography festival held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It has previously featured exhibitions, portfolio reviews, conferences, projections and film screenings in many different renowned venues. It is also the first and only international photography festival in East Africa.