• 2019-10-02

Aida Muluneh is one of the leading experts on photography from Africa. Aida is the founder and director of the Addis Foto Fest (AFF), the first international photography festival in East Africa hosted since 2010 in the city of Addis Ababa. Recently, she out doored her highly-acclaimed photo series titled, "Water Life.” The collection, which has been defined to be an “Afrofuturist work” was shot in the hottest place on earth, Dallol, Afar in Ethiopia. Aida’s “Water Life” series the issue of water scarcity and how it affects the lives of women and girls.

“My main goal in building this collection is to address the issues caused by a lack of access to water, and the impact which that has not only on a society as a whole but on women, particularly in rural regions. For those of us who live in cities, it’s easy to take for granted the privilege of access to water - while those living beyond the city grid often encounter challenges that not only impact their health but also their ability to contribute to the development of their communities,” says Aida Muluneh.

She further explained that “each piece addresses the impact of water access as it relates to issues like women’s liberation, health, sanitation, and education. “While traveling across Ethiopia for my work, I often encounter streams of women traveling on foot and carrying heavy burdens of water. I have understood that women spend a great deal of time fetching water for the household, which has an adverse effect on the progress of women in our society. We cannot refute that it is mainly women who bear responsibility for collecting water, a burden that has great consequences for our future and the development of our nation,” she adds.

On why she chose to shoot a few of these photos in Dallol, Afar, Aida stated the environment places emphasis on the message she seeks to transmit.  According to Aida, “the world is continually bombarded with images of the social plight of Africa; therefore, her focus in this project was to address these topics without the cliché that we see in mainstream media. In a sense, to advocate through art.”