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Ethiopia seen outside the box

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09/10/13

  10:28:53 pm, by admin, 252 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

Ethiopia seen outside the box

The mystical air of the 2007 Ankober series. Photograph: Michael Tsegaye

Ethiopia seen outside the box

Source: The Guardian

Michael Tsegaye turned to photography because of an allergy to oil paint. Caitlin Chandler talks to him about
'African art', Renoir and his upcoming exhibition in Oslo

It's hard to catch photographer Michael Tsegaye; photography jobs frequently take him to remote parts of Ethiopia, while his personal work graces urban art meccas such as Paris, New York and Bamako. He's soon Scandinavia-bound; Oslo will host his next exhibition later in September.

Luckily Tsegaye recently had time to meet for a macchiato at the Lime Tree café in the Bole neighborhood of Addis Ababa. He grew up in Bole, before the area became home to the never-ending construction of shiny new office buildings and restaurants. Originally a painter, Tsegaye turned out to be allergic to oil paint, and switched to photography in 2003. Photography brought him out of the studio and into constant negotiation with places and people; he says he's never looked back.

Tsegaye's photographic series range from tackling social issues such as climate change to pondering space and time across Ethiopia. He has worked in a variety of mediums and formats, and is increasingly in demand from commercial and non-profit clients. Despite exhibiting around the world, Tsegaye regularly debuts work in his hometown. We chatted over coffee about how the media portrays African artists, which subjects catch his attention, and what reaction to his photos has surprised him the most.

Read More from Guardian

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Comment from: Ali Roble [Visitor]
Ali Roble

Seen outside the box? No chance. we are too busy to even think about it. We have seen and mesmerized by the inside of the box stuff such as poverty, rogue leaders, wars, religious and ethnic chauvinism and so on. As along as we have hate- mongering champions of the likes of godless Ass Goitu, who curse day and night day about imaginary enemies, we will never see outside the box or the sun.

09/10/13 @ 23:35
Comment from: MIMI [Visitor]
5 stars
MIMI

GREAT SCENES, TRUE ARTISTS!

09/11/13 @ 13:54
Comment from: Solomon Tebebu [Visitor]
Solomon Tebebu

@Ali Roble
The story is about an Ethiopian photographer called Mr. Michael Tsegaye. Whether you want to stay in your box or not, nobody really gives a hoot. Please stay in the box that is actually your natural habitat. How on earth did you manage to change the subject to name calling and throwing insults at Mr. Assta? Now, just sit back and wait he will hand you your rear in a plastic bag. As the old saying goes, “The mouse that wants to die, goes to the cat and sniffs at his nose.”

I read someone’s brilliant comment on the original article why the Guardian often focuses on anything Ethiopian that is bad. The article (Q& A) actually was not bad at all by the way. That comment has triggered a thread of interesting conversations whether it was really about Mr. Tsegaye’s work or the Guardian’s subtle attempt to taint Ethiopia once again with a dark hue.

I believe our conversation here should focus on the merits of the photographer’s work.

09/11/13 @ 14:24
Comment from: Tulu Proud ET [Visitor]
Tulu Proud ET

It is sad for you the lousy photographer , Michael Tsegaye to accept prostitution as a norm for young Ethiopian girls.

You don’t even attempt to question what is causing it except to slam it with the growing population excuse. Same as what TPLF/EPRDF has been saying all along.
You didn’t succeed going far before you expose yourself as a TPLF/EPRDF collaborator and mouthpiece.

You made Ankober is your stop for no other reason but for your old TPLF hate rhetoric on Amaras.

For me stay out of Ankober and out side the box (Ethiopia) and show as your pictures of Adwa or Mekelle.

Everywhere in the world population is growing whether one is in Ethiopia, Europe, US or any other place on earth. Yet we don’t find prostitution surging anywhere except in Ethiopia.

Unlike moron Tsegaye’s this is what we understand for the sad story of our young girls going into the oldest profession. The problem lies on TPLF/EPRDF lack of leadership and governing policy. the one sided economy and opportunity policy for minority, TPLF/EPRDF corrupts and traitors while making poor the majority, (Amharas and Oromos even Gambellas and many Omo valley people).

At the end it is TPLF/EPRDF policy that is turning out girls into prostitution instead of sending them to schools and jobs. The regime is taking away their share of the economy and giving it to TPLF/EPRDF looter corrupted regime worshipers.

09/11/13 @ 17:55
Comment from: forward with comradde tamagne [Visitor]
5 stars
forward with comradde tamagne

solomon tibebe good respnse

you are the best . tell that moron the way it is. your response goes to that idiot tulu too

09/12/13 @ 09:11
Comment from: ArtistBlogger [Visitor]
5 stars
ArtistBlogger

Nice interview.

Check out his photo blog: http://www.ethiopianphotographer.com

It is obvious that Michael Tsegaye has many projects that show different aspects of life in Ethiopia, not just prostitution.

Its also good that more Ethiopian photographers and artists are gaining prominence on the world stage! We should support the stories Ethiopians have to share. Better that an Ethiopian express what it means to be in Ethiopia than a foreigner who knows nothing at all.

09/12/13 @ 14:56
Comment from: Ali Roble [Visitor]
Ali Roble

Tulu

I completely agree with you. The name Tsegay sounds to me typical tigrain name but I know little about his background or his political affiliation. You seem to be familiar about the issue and the guy`s activities. One thing that bothers me is these young girls pictures in the street. Did he contributed some fund to their rehab activities and awareness of their blight etc? if so, I would say he is real ethical artist. But if he just making money by shaming and picturing them, I would say he has no better morals than their customers.

BTW, bono anno e bona vita per tutto! Ein gutes neues jahr und ein gesudes nuess jahr. መልካም አዲስ አመት እና መልካም እዲል ለሁሎ ክአለታ ጌቱ በተቀረ loool! Dont`t worry my Ass Gettu and don`t commit suicide if I left you behind for a moment. For sure, I will mention you next year with some conditions attached. Also don;t cry foul about the amharic geez script things cuz it is my least favorite fourth language.
BTW

09/12/13 @ 15:26
Comment from: afropolitan [Visitor]
afropolitan

Exquisite artistry,amazing photos,mystical world of Ethiopia in time and place. As the saying gose;art or beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Solomon Tebebu
as usual, sharp and appropriate comments.
THANK YOU

09/13/13 @ 05:20

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