These Stunning Photos Celebrate the Beauty and Power of Ethiopia

Photographer Aïda Muluneh’s work defies Western perceptions of the East African nation.

Women are overlooked far too often in photography. How can we continue to combat this erasure? My answer is this column, “Woman Seeing Woman.” While it’s just the start of solving this problem, I, a female writer and photographer, hope to celebrate the astoundingly powerful female voices we have in photography by offering a glimpse into their work.

 

“I’m always surprised when people see my work in an exhibition, they think it’s a painting,” says Ethiopia-based photographer Aïda Muluneh. But in her compositions of elegant Ethiopian women donned in bold explosions of color, she only incorporates paint on the bodies of her subjects and their backdrops. The body paint she uses is a visual conglomeration of the patterns used by various ethnic groups throughout Ethiopia, the country where she was born. Her work, in its eye-catching vibrance, celebrates the country and defies the narratives of constant struggle placed on it by outsiders. (Read more)