Photo: Strength in Honor / Aida Muluneh

SHIFTING FOCUS | The photographer painting Ethiopia in a new light.

Having lived in Canada, Yemen, Cyprus and England, Ethiopian photographer Aida Muluneh has experienced exactly how people of colour are misrepresented in art and the media throughout Europe and the West. For that reason, her work contradicts the war-focused lens that seems to hover, forever poised to capture tragedy and discord in her homeland. Forget documentary-style war and famine photography: this photographer creates startlingly bold work with a bright, primary colour palette that reflects on her cultural heritage as an Ethiopian.

Challenging existing Eurocentric views, the photographer draws on traditional portraiture, fashion photography and classic paintings to deliver an altogether new interpretation of the African experience. Think portrait photography with the striking filter of a colour-loving artist. Muluneh’s Africans are strong, fierce, vibrant – decorated with the ornamentations of their past, but brought unapologetically into the present.