Misak Workeneh is a 28 year-old semi-professional photographer from Ethiopia who discovered photography by coincidence. After completing his undergraduate degree in legal studies, a relative gave him a Canon D5100 camera as a graduation present. The fact that a picture taken at the right time and place can become a work of art fascinated him.
Misak came across street photography online with the works of photographers such as Chris Weeks and Henri Cartier-Bresson. He realized that photography can be done outside of sophisticated studios in a pure and simple manner, full of emotion and meaning. Recognizing this as a calling more suited to his personality he decided to dedicate himself to it.
Trickles of life
I became interested in street photography after seeing the breathtaking moments captured by various artists who excel in this field. I decided to try my hand at some documentary pieces. My current project aims to show the various levels of economic class in Addis Ababa, the city in which I reside. The capital of Ethiopia has been cited by many as one of the fastest growing cities in the world. As a native of this city, I have seen some very drastic changes take place over time. City trains, super highways, and other contemporary changes are quickly surfacing. However, there is another side to this Cinderella story; there is an ever increasing gap between the highest socio-economic class and the lowest.
Consequently, as I was wandering down the streets one day, it hit me. All these people have a story to tell. Even though I cannot ask and write each and every one of them down, I can capture them and show the world these changes. Therefore, I started taking pictures and posting day-to-day results on a Facebook Page entitled ‘Through the Looking Glass’ accepting comments and suggestions from my peers as well as others. In summary, this project has only recently begun and I will continue my quest to capture the changing face of our city as well as the souls of its children as they wander the streets.