Capture Addis is a photo festival showcasing and celebrating Addis Ababa through photography. The first edition of this festival was organized in October 2019 by Lela Qellem Plc and hosted by the City of Addis.
The photos in the exhibition were selected from a pool of over 1000 photos across three different photo competitions held prior to the festival. They feature works by professional photographers, amateur photographers and the international community in Addis. The seven-day-festival included also various panel discussions with an impressive variety of topics and I was thrilled to see how the events attracted a big crowd every single night. Topics included for example Space in Amharic literature, Addis architecture through decades in photography, Musical cities and music venues, or Vintage Addis. There were also photo walks around the city, which I sadly missed. The week was a real treat to photography enthusiasts and to anybody interested in both historical and contemporary facets of Addis and creatives working on it.
I picked here some of my favorite works by those who took part in the show. I liked the photos by Eyoeal Kefyalew, Geremew Tigabu and Bethelhem Tamrat in particular. Tamrat’s photo of the boy looking through the bus window is very moving – what is he looking at and what is he seeing? Is it Addis streets or something else in another place and in another time? He is probably one of those boys who works to collect money in the minibuses, taking the pulse of the city day in and day out.
As you know, taking photos of photos is a little tricky with shadows, reflections and other twists due to light conditions, lack of tripod and so forth. So please, dear fellow photographers and holders of copyrigh to these works, bear with me if these shots don’t do justice to your original work.
Other photographers included Yeabkal Abebe, Kidus Abera, Michale Felleke, Tsion Haileselassie, Jami Hassen, Abenezer Israel, Eyerusalem A. Jiregna, Ioana Lungu, Natnael Tadesse, Bemnet Teklemariam, Sehin Tewabe, Amanuel Tsegaye, Mahlet Teshome Yemaneberhan, Jonas Yosef… and many more whose names I unfortunately missed. If you are in Addis, please do go and see their work or check them on the social media. This exhibition has been extended until 17 November at The Urban Center.
* Link to a feature on Capture Addis (in Amharic)
* Link to a photogallery by Capture Addis
* Link to some vintage photos through the art project Vintage Addis Abeba