Aïda Muluneh’s vivid photographs are forces for change

by AryanArtnews
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Aïda Muluneh’s vivid photographs are forces for change

Aïda Muluneh has been turning the global perception of Africa on its head for a long time. The Ethiopian photographer’s instantly identifiable visual language is a striking mix of surrealism and sharp, vivid references to Ethiopian culture and the lives of women. Through graphic, shadowless planes and deft deployment of Photoshop, her primary color-saturated works weave a complex web of domesticity and politics, fact and fantasy, subtle symbolism and poignant candor.

Muluneh’s first show at Dubai’s Efie Gallery highlights her ability to harness art as a tool for change. Titled ‘The Art of Advocacy’, the show spotlights works from award-winning series such as Water Life 2018, (commissioned by WaterAid and shot in the salt flats of Dallol, one of the driest, hottest and most inhospitable places on earth), addressing the impact of water deprivation on women’s liberation, health, sanitation and education, and The Path of Glory (2020), commissioned by the Nobel Peace Prize exhibition that examines how food and hunger are used as weapons in war. “I purposefully chose works that respond to themes of human rights, environment, conflict and health as they are still common global issues,” Muluneh tells Wallpaper*.

Aida Muluneh, Walls of Silence2022. Courtesy of the artist and Efie Gallery Dubai

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist and Efie Gallery Dubai)

Each project, the artist explains, ‘is related to encounters that I have experienced in my personal life and also in my professional career as a photojournalist. After working closely with various communities for many years, the artistic interpretations of unspoken realities manifested in the images presented,’ she says. ‘The work aims to raise questions, to provoke curiosity and to suggest a different visual aesthetic as it relates to the presentation of the challenges facing Africa – something that often falls victim to the foreign gaze as it relates to visual representation in the international media.’

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