Salym Fayad
COLOMBIA
Salym Fayad is an independent reporter and documentary photographer from Bogota, Colombia, based in Johannesburg, South Africa since 2008. He has worked extensively in Sub-Saharan Africa, covering issues related to music and popular culture, armed conflict, migration and human rights. His work has appeared in media outlets such as The New York Times, Boston Review, European Pressphoto Agency, Agence France-Presse, VICE, Mail & Guardian, The Guardian, Sunday Times, Libération, El Tiempo, Arcadia, Gatopardo, El Malpensante, Revista Semana, among others. His photographs have been exhibited in New York, Washington, Helsinki, Berlin, Perpignan, Bogota, Johannesburg and Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. He currently works on a collaborative multimedia project documenting life stories and cultural practices among the Somali community in Mayfair, Johannesburg, and the diaspora. He has also worked in the management of cultural exchange projects between Colombia and South Africa, involving music and film. He is a co-founder of Otro Sur Foundation, an independent organisation promoting cultural exchange between Africa and Latin America, with which he organised the first Colombian film showcase in South Africa and co-directs the African film festival (MUICA) in several Colombian cities.
Truce: Colombia in Transition
After 52 years of conflict, more than 200 thousand people have been killed and 7 million have been displaced from their homes in Colombia. In September 2016, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) held their last conference as a rebel group at a camp in the Yari Plains, in the fringes of the Amazon rainforest, in which they ratified the contents of the peace agreement they had reached with the Colombian government after four years of negotiations in Havana, Cuba. In the words of the rebels, “the door has been opened to do what we have always fought for: legal political participation, without being killed”. But the post-conflict scenario is fragile, and the transition to peace, unsettling. More than 300 community leaders and human rights defenders have been assassinated in the country since the peace deal was signed. The perpetrators, presumably right-wing death squads protecting the financial and political interests of those who benefited from the conflict, from drug trafficking, from mining. For the former rebels, their struggle has taken a new direction. Beyond politics, the personal challenge of adjusting to civilian life after demobilising, in a society that is only starting to come to terms with the wounds of five decades of civil war. Optimism and hope are veiled by fears and uncertainties, and by the ghosts of a political genocide in the 1980s that still lingers in the country’s historical memory. It will take a concerted effort by all sides to broker a fragile peace that benefits the people of Colombia towards a shared future of peace and possibilities.

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.