arts and design

The artist shining a light on water poverty in Ethiopia – in pictures

Although artist Aïda Muluneh had an itinerant childhood in Europe and America, she was born in Addis Ababa and is an expert in African photography. When charity Water Aid asked her to participate in a campaign highlighting water poverty, it was the women of Afar, northern Ethiopia, that she shot for her series Water Life, now included in Ekow Eshun’s new book of African art and photography, In the Black Fantastic (Thames & Hudson), published to coincide with a show at London’s Hayward Gallery. Muluneh was pleased that Water Aid wanted to use art for advocacy rather than reportage. “Our continent has many layers,” she says. “However, we have been at the mercy of the international media that does not show the complexities of our challenges. My approach has been to tell a story from my perspective, not based on cliches often covered by foreign photographers.”


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