Hilina Mekonen is an artist and photographer born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She has a BA degree in Printmaking and the Visual Arts from the of Ale School of Fine Arts and Design. Her personal work focuses on documentary photography directly in response to the surrounding environment and uses everyday experiences to document the country with an in-depth intimate and personal conscience. Her works have been featured in several group exhibitions.
Markos Teff Gebeya
The Ethiopian teff gebeya (market) is a dynamic confluence of people and culture. This vibrant event, usually held on specific weekdays transforms a suitable open field into a busy turf laden with goods and trodden with human footsteps and animal hoofs—at least, for a day. The market is a vista of history, unchanged for millennia; it preserves, fends off and simultaneously accepts something new albeit in minute doses. Straw satchels, leather carry sacks, and their contents have changed very little in their hundred years of time travel to this familiar spot. Donkeys and mules are still the main means of carrying raw merchandise. The traditional Ethiopian market is also a spectacle of evolving color, scent and moods. The early daylight sheds light on early risers with full sacks and hopes and also illuminates hordes of market goers who suddenly seem to converge as one. The rising sun which seems to infuse rowdiness, eventually takes over. It signals the pervasive realization of fleeting opportunities. Chaffed feet leave to expose strewn chaffs. The increasingly setting sun evokes a resignation, a calmness and stoicism that leads to a bartering of more stories than goods. In the last remnant moments of the day, bargains are begrudgingly accepted. Goods are carefully packed to be carried by people and livestock; it is as if they take a piece of the spectacle which took place throughout the day with them. This synergy of change and permanence is truly a celebration of life.