Aïda Muluneh | On the edge of past future

Fotografie Forum Frankfurt
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© Aïda Muluneh

With vibrant colours and an extraordinary visual language, the artist Aïda Muluneh advocates awareness for currently urgent issues such as the unequal distribution of access to water, food and education, the abuse of power and the empowerment of women. Under the title AÏDA MULUNEH. ON THE EDGE OF PAST FUTURE, the Fotografie Forum Frankfurt is showing seven series of works by the Ethiopian photo artist from the past ten years.

Aïda Muluneh expresses her critical concerns with artistic vitality, surreal nuances and thought-provoking soul-searching. Her pictures are visual narratives; they have a cinematic character in that she constructs sceneries on location in real landscapes or unique interiors. The models in Muluneh’s settings are global and at the same time African ensembles –people with multiple identities and cultural origins. Enchanting figures might appear in business suits or traditional costumery, messengers are equipped with a shepherd's staff or a telephone. Protagonists with colourfully painted faces climb ladders to the sky, emblematic hands throughout her works protect or incite. Muluneh symbolically uses primary colours, postures, and props in her photographic stagings. Red wings become the symbol of womanhood; in the series Water Life (2018), it is womanhood provide humanity with water; in The Road of Glory (2020), women confront with scenarios of hunger as a weapon of war.

Aïda Muluneh (*1974 in Addis Ababa/Ethiopia) is considered an advocate and leading voice of the African photography community and its global representation.

After her family fled the civil war in Ethiopia, Muluneh grew up in Yemen, England and Canada. In 2000 she received her degree in communications with a major in film from Howard University, Washington, D.C. Assignments as a photojournalist followed, including for the Washington Post. Muluneh is the founder and director of Addis Foto Fest, East Africa's first international photo festival, as well as Africa Foto Fair (AFF) in Ivory Coast, where she also lives. Her series The Road of Glory was created as an exhibition for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

AïDA MULUNEH. ON THE EDGE OF PAST FUTURE is the artist's most comprehensive solo show in Europe to date. It was curated by Celina Lunsford, artistic director, and Andrea Horvay, co-curator of the FFF. The exhibition opens the 40th anniversary year of the FFF at the Fotografie Forum Frankfurt.

A MAGAZINE with an essay by Celina Lunsford and numerous images of Aïda Muluneh’s

work is available at the FFF, to accompany the exhibition.

Fotografie Forum Frankfurt
February 1, 2024
April 14, 2024
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