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Aida Muluneh

Updated: Mar 10, 2019

Artist 76 Aida Muluneh The 99 series, 2014 Photography

Aida Muluneh(born 1974) is an Ethiopian award winning photographer and contemporary artist. Whilst born in Ethiopia, a child of the diaspora, as a youth she lived in Yemen, England. Cyprus and Canada, before finally settling in Addis Ababa.

She is known for her powerful portraits of face-painted African people in surreal settings. Through her intense use of color, Muluneh alters the viewer’s perception of contemporary Africa.

“The shooting process feels like a film script. That’s how I see these painted faces—as different characters void of nationality and ethnicity, like blank slates,” she has explained.

Today’s focus is on her work, The 99 series (2014)

In her artist statement she says:

“We live in the gray existence, uncomfortable like the dirty snow of western winters or like the polluted skyline of what we call Ethiopian Modernity.”

Her work dwells into existence, identity and she further states:

"I utilize face painting as a form in which the inspiration is driven by body ornamentation, not only in my country, but also various parts of the world. I am deeply influenced by various traditional cultures, hence in a sense, I am bringing the past into the future through various forms."


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