Robel Temesgen
ETHIOPIA
Born in 1987 in Ethiopia, Robel Temesgen received an MFA from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art, University of Tromsø, Norway in 2015, and a BFA in Fine Art (Painting) from Addis Ababa University in 2010. He recently took part in the Junge Akademie Program of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and was a resident artist at IASPIS, Stockholm, the Swedish Art Grants Committee’s International Program for Visual and Applied Arts. Robel’s work has been exhibited at several local and international stages. He is currently based in Addis Ababa.
Constituent of a Moment
Arat Kilo, one of the melting pots of Addis Ababa, centers on a public monument honoring patriots who fought against Ethiopia’s occupation by Fascist Italy from 1936-1941. In less than 30 meters distance, hundreds of youth surround a notice board and newspaper vendors everyday searching for vacancy ads. The crowd of job seekers has transformed the pathway into a plaza of a public performance where the assembly and passerby make the body of the performance and at the same time, the ‘audience.’ Individuals holding binders filled with documents constitute this ‘Performative Monument.’ Everyone passing through, or glancing into the ads becomes a passive maker of the monument at the same time. Robel’s collection investigates the critical issue of skilled unemployment in urban Ethiopia. The country’s universities produce more graduates than what the job market can absorb.

The Addis Foto Fest (AFF) was established in 2010 by award-winning photographer and cultural entrepreneur, Aida Muluneh. The festival is organized by Desta for Africa Creative Consulting PLC. AFF is a biennial international photography festival held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It has previously featured exhibitions, portfolio reviews, conferences, projections and film screenings in many different renowned venues. It is also the first and only international photography festival in East Africa.