Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Mekbib Tadesse received his degree in business administration and information from the Addis Ababa University of Commerce and then went on to study graphic design at the Image Graphic Design School. His passion for photography started while he was doing his graphic work, which influenced some of his work. Mekbib dedicated himself fully to photography specializing in fashion and fine art. Mekbib actualizes his vision of Ethiopia and Africa through personal projects and projects for corporate clients.
The Mule Market
My country is mostly viewed from an outside in perspective. Our visual references of ourselves are how we are viewed by the world rather than how we view ourselves, and in these the small things that matter to us are neglected and overlooked by many.
I was one of those people as well; my only conception of what certain parts of my country look like was from an outsider’s perspective. This was proven to me on my first trip to Lalibela. Previously, I only thought of Lalibela as the place where the church carved out of stone was. I never thought about the way of life of the people who live there, what the local society was like. However, during that trip I discovered the mule market, which is a local open-air market that takes place three times a year. Ethiopian Christmas is the peak season for the mule market and mule merchants descend upon the holy city of Lalibela to trade. My series depicts this aspect of life in Lalibela that was new to me. It depicts an experience I had that helped me see Ethiopia from an Ethiopian perspective rather than an outsider’s.