African Photojournalism Database
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
My name is Maheder Haileselassie and I am a self-taught photographer based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia who was originally trained as a Civil Engineer.
My inspiration of telling stories comes from a spark of ideas that has to do with memories, experience, history and identity of myself and other people I engage with every day.
I have freelanced for major news agencies like AFP, Reuters and Mongabay and my work regarding a safe house for women was published on the guardian UK.
In addition, I am also part of Women Photograph and my work “Awramba, a collective community” was published this year in a book Mfon: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora.
Moreover, I recently founded Center for Photography in Ethiopia (CPE), a learning and discussion platform for Ethiopian Photographers and I’m also a contributor for @everydayafrica on instagram.
I have since participated in exhibitions such as:
• “Stories”, (Egypt, 2017)
• “Inspiring women”, Goethe Institute (Ethiopia, 2017)
• World Press Photo, (Zimbabwe, 2017)
• “Photojournalists in Conflict”, WPFD Celebration (Helsinki, 2016),
• “In Quest for”, Goethe-Institute (Ethiopia, 2016 & Kampala, 2017 ),
• “Intangible Cultural Heritages”, UN ECA Hall (Ethiopia, 2016)
• Addis Foto Fest (Ethiopia, 2016)
• Tales on Ethiopia (Italy, 2016)
- Still life
- Video capture
Intimate Spaces - Walls
I Imagine walls as a provider of a fragmented narrative, a platform of subconscious expression and a context giver of identity that’s embedded in their owners.
Through walls of public and private spaces, I explore into my understanding of family, history, prestige, nostalgia and wishes in an urban context.
Our walls show the ambivalence created in our minds in a fast moving and transformative age. In one way, this originates from a strong sense of belonging, tradition and pride coming from the history of the country. In another, information, globalization and a sense of longing for what is on the other side of the fence and what exists beyond ones very own chaotic journey to create one’s own imaginary utopia resides.
Walls, although used as a canvas to reflect one’s own identity, they’re also boundaries, territory marks and securities against outsiders in a physical sense. It’s the idea of creating a boundary and at the same time a desire of claiming an ownership and belonging.