post World Food Day Poster Contest

May 28th, 2013

Filed under: Events — Lissan Magazine @ 15:28

‘Healthy Food Systems’


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been observing World Food Day since 1981, as a way of raising public awareness of world food problems and creating solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. The theme of World Food Day 2013 is “Sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition.”

Food systems encompass all activities connected with food: growing, harvesting, processing, transport, distribution, marketing, preparing, eating and even throwing away unused food. A sustainable food system is one that functions without harming the environment, gives farmers a fair return for their efforts, minimizes food losses and waste, and ensures that everyone has access to enough nutritious food.

FAO and the United Nations Women’s Guild in Italy sponsor the annual World Food Day international poster contest for children and youth from 5 to 17 years of age. Young people from all over the world are invited to use their imagination and artistic talent to create a poster illustrating the theme:

‘Healthy Food Systems’

The contest gives children a chance to express their ideas about food and hunger, and share their creative visions with the world. Posters may be digitally created, drawn, painted or sketched using pens, pencils, crayons or charcoal, or using oil, acrylic or watercolor paint.

Three winning posters will be selected in each of three age groups: 5-to 8-year-olds, 9-to 12-year-olds, and 13- to 17-year-olds. On World Food Day (16 October). All winners will receive the popular “EndingHunger movement” T-shirt and a Certificate of Recognition signed by a United Nations official. First-place winners will also receive a special surprise gift!

All eligible entries will be published in a gallery on the official World Food Day website. Individual poster entries can be “liked” or shared via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. In addition, the top posters in all three categories will be promoted on both the World Food Day and EndingHunger websites and social media.

Posters will be judged on originality, artistic ability and expression of the theme. Each of the three age groups will be judged separately. The panel of judges will include professionals working in the arts, education and humanitarian assistance.

>> Entries must be original and should not include signature, photographic images of the contestant, or other identifying information.
>> Only one entry per contestant
>> Only digital files in JPG format can be accepted.
>> Maximum allowable file size is 1.5 MB.
>> Entries must be submitted through the World Food Day Poster Contest webpage. Emailed entries will NOT be accepted.
>> Deadline for entries: 30 September 2013.

To learn more about the contest, about World Food Day, or about sustainable food systems, visit:

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) leads international efforts to end hunger. FAO helps developing countries and countries in transition to modernize and improve their agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices. Since its founding in 1945, FAO has focused particular attention on developing rural areas, which are home to 70 percent of the world’s poor and hungry people. FAO is present in over 100 countries around the world, and is headquartered in Rome, Italy. For more information:

The United Nations Women’s Guild (UNWG) is a voluntary organization of women connected with the United Nations, working for the benefit of needy children around the world. The Guild, a non-profit and charitable organization, has been sustaining small programs and raising funds for children in need mainly in developing countries for over 63 years.

post FAO Poster Contest 2012

September 22nd, 2012

Filed under: Art, Events — Lissan Magazine @ 01:20

World Food Day Poster Contest 2012


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been observing World Food Day since 1981 as a way to heighten public awareness about world food problems and create a sense of solidarity in the ongoing struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. The theme of World Food Day 2012 is “Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world.”


An agricultural cooperative, also known as a farmers’ co-op, is a business that enables its members to make money while also providing benefits for the group. Farmers working together as a team can achieve things that would otherwise be impossible. For example, a group of people working together to grow vegetables or fruit, to fish together or simply to sell something collectively can benefit by sharing materials, experience and other resources.

FAO and the United Nations Women’s Guild in Italy have launched the first international World Food Day poster contest for children from 5 to 17 years of age. Children from all over the world are invited to use their imagination and artistic talent to create a poster illustrating the World Food Day theme: “Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world.” This contest gives children an opportunity to express their ideas about hunger and share their creative visions with the world. Posters can be digitally created, drawn, painted or sketched using pens, pencils, crayons or charcoal, or using oil, acrylic or watercolor paint.

Three winning posters will be selected in each of the three categories: ages 5 to 8, ages 9 to 12, and ages 13 to 17. On World Food Day, 16 October 2012, the top three posters in all three categories will be published on the World Food Day website, through FAO’s Facebook page, and with the worldwide entire EndingHunger movement. Winners will also receive Certificates of Recognition signed by a United Nations official. The first-place winner will receive the popular EndingHunger T-shirt along with a special surprise gift!

Posters will be judged on originality, artistic ability and expression of the theme. Each of the three age groups will be judged separately. The panel of judges will include professionals working in the arts, education and humanitarian assistance.

Entries must be original and should not include signature, photographic images of the contestant, or other identifying information. Participants should submit one entry. Only digital files in JPG format can be accepted. If a digital photo is submitted, it must be at least 530 pixels wide and 375 pixels long. The maximum allowable file size is 1.5 MB. Submissions must be made online on the World Food Day Poster Contest webpage and are due by September 30, 2012.

To learn more about World Food Day and about agricultural cooperatives, please visit the World Food Day homepage - For more information on rules and prizes, please visit / contest-rules.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) leads international efforts to end hunger. FAO helps developing countries and countries in transition to modernize and improve their agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices. Since its founding in 1945, FAO has focused particular attention on developing rural areas, which are home to 70 percent of the world’s poor and hungry people. FAO is present in over 100 countries around the world, and is headquartered in Rome, Italy. For more information:

The United Nations Women’s Guild (UNWG) is a voluntary organization of women connected to the United Nations that works for the benefit of needy children around the world. The Guild, a non-profit and charitable organization, has been sustaining small programs and raising funds for children in need mainly in developing countries for over 63 years.

post The Wisdom of an Elder

February 13th, 2012

Filed under: Events — Natty Mark Samuels @ 17:49

As he advances into his septuagenarian period, a thought came to me. That by the time of his physical passing, at the age of thirty-six, he had acquired the wisdom of an elder.

Snow began to fall on the first night of the Bob Marley Festival (4th February), blanketing everywhere. So it was a welcoming change, to walk into a place of red, gold and green. A warming décor, to take away the chill and introduce the evening.

Although some were put off or blocked by the weather, I believe those who gathered and filled out the Bullingdon Arms, received a full blessing.

Natty Hi-Fi stalwarts, Garvin Dan and Nico, treated us to a selection from the Bob Marley treasure box; interspersed with music from other great talents, concluding with gems from Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh – his childhood friends and founder members of the Wailers.

Classics; early and later recordings. Plus their dubs, instrumentals and versions. A real panorama of his art. If my ears could applaud, they would have joyfully clapped, for what they received that night. I never tire of listening to his music, nor does my son Bingy, five years old. Like prayer, his music is forever.

Between the DJ offerings, the evening was enhanced by the featured band, Jamatone. A six-piece group; of bass, drums, keyboards, guitar and two vocalists. Regular features on Natty Hi-Fi promotions – solidarity reggae. So let me take a moment, to mention three of my favourites: ‘Rastaman Rise’, ‘How You Stay’ and ‘Black Is Not A Mask’, a song featuring the familiar rhythm of ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ .They truly embellished the night, continuing that great tradition of Roots Reggae live; pioneered by such heroes as Burning Spear, Little Roy, the Abyssinians, as well as the icon of this festival

Other ingredients enriched the mix; in the form of Sista Ali with saxophone and Ras Hugo on hand drums. Playing alongside the Djs, weaving in and out – a sweet tapestry of dub

We left the Bullingdon at 3a.m, face and spirit glowing, looking forward to part two.

Yesterday, Sunday, day two of the festival, which began at 1pm and was held in the Chester Arms; began for me with coconut dahl and peas and rice. A generous portion of great-tasting food, created by Pippa a.k.a Little General, a popular local caterer. After this culinary delight, came the musical ones.

These gifts of sound were given to us by Tony Dread, original Natty Hi-Fi DJ; Prince, who blessed us with selection as well as his own poetry: Two In One, featuring Nick and his daughter Delilah; Jah Paul and Keolan Roots; plus the resident, Garvin Dan.

Because it was a daytime session, finishing at 8pm, children were able to enter. Some played outside in the snow, with swings, see-saw and a slide. Others inside, chatting and dancing with their parents.

Due to their enjoyment the night before, Jamatone volunteered to play for free. A respectful gesture, especially as the featured live act, Ras Keith, couldn’t make, it due to illness. Because of a late arrival, they were only able to play a short set. Short but sweet. Including such highlights as the two vocalists, Bissy and Shumba, duetting on one of my favourites ‘The Way They Treat I’. Always good to have Jamatone around – our Combination Dub.

Before I finish, mention must be made of Simone Hendry, a film-making student at City and Islington College, London. She has set up her own company, called Toxic Productions. It was her and crew who filmed the whole proceedings, moving around with tripod and cameras. Hoping to catch the festive spirit on film; for us all to share and savour, in time to come.

At the end, volunteers helped to take down the hangings and to carry out the sound system. I think Bob Marley would have liked to have seen that. As well as the little children, dancing to his music.

This ghetto youth, whose music and life, is now studied by students, writers and academics, became wise beyond his years. A simple living sage, whose greatest love was music.

Wise enough to understand it’s power and to harness it: and then to heal us with it. Blessings for everyone.

Today, the sixth of February; I wish you a very Happy Birthday Bob Marley, 72 years old.

© Natty Mark Samuels, 2012.

post Seeds Of Africa

July 20th, 2011

Filed under: Events — Lissan Magazine @ 19:57

The Arts at Dusk: L.E.S. Meets ETHIOPIA
Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Seeds of Africa, an international educational non-­profit, is hosting an art-­filled summer social at the Hotel on Rivington on July 27th from 6 pm to 9pm to celebrate our students’ 1st annual art exhibit.


Hosted by Seeds founder and former Miss. Ethiopia, Atti Worku, this event will feature live art renderings by local artists, a silent auction of one-­of-­a-­kind paintings, and free appetizers and cocktails from local New York City vendors.

Our purpose is to generate awareness of our growing organization and raise money to further our mission in Adama, Ethiopia. All proceeds will benefit the Ethiopian development center, supporting our students and teacher’s valuable work.

Seeds would be honored to have you and your publication in attendance. As the event celebrates education and development opportunities for our Ethiopian community, we are confident that your audience will consider this to be a worthy cause and an evening not to be missed!

Further event details can be found online at http://soa‐

About Seeds of Africa
Seeds of Africa is an international non-­profit dedicated to creating an innovative and self-­sustaining model of education and community development, beginning in Adama, Ethiopia. From a single tutor and a few wooden benches in a backyard, Seeds has been able to expand to a fully functioning afterschool program with our own facility and curriculum in only a few short years. Most recently, Seeds has welcomed a new class of primary students, moved to a newer facility, expanded our curriculum, and earned a spot in the Global Giving community. More information is available at

Media Contact:
Christina Herbach

post Exhibition Support

June 11th, 2011

Filed under: Events — Lissan Magazine @ 16:12

Dear Sir/Madam,

In cooperation with the Polish National Museum we are organizing an open-air exhibition of photographs regarding African life and culture of different countries and I’m writing to you for your help support.

photo: Szymon Myslinski

Me and my wife during several journeys have crossed Africa from north to south on the roads “less traveled”, trying to learn and follow local customs, using local means of transportation and enjoying the African hospitality. During that time we came up with an idea to raise awareness of the problems that Africa faces and fight stereotypes about Africa that we have in the European media nowadays. In cooperation with the Polish National Museum we are organizing an open-air exhibition of the photographs from our trip throughout Africa. The pictures will be accompanied by short, positive descriptions of life in African countries written by their citizens. So far we have managed to get a school in Ethiopia and individuals from Kenia and Malawi to join the project. They will write a few sentences about their everyday lives and plans for the future and we will put them next to the photos with their names.

We would like to ask you if you could contribute to our exhibition. I am sure you have a network of individuals around your website (born in Ethiopia, as we are looking for local people opinion) - is there a chance one of them could write just a few (3-10) sentences in English (and send them back via e-mail) on one of the following subjects:

1. What is the greatest asset and value of Africa / Ethiopia?
2. What can Europeans learn from Africans / Ethiopia citizens?
3. How would you like the world to look like in 30 years?
4. Is the whole Africa/Ethiopia the same or is it a place of (religious / cultural / traditional) differences and diversities?

Or write a few sentences on any other subject that in their opinion is important and should be presented to people in Europe. If it is possible for you, maybe you know somebody who would like to do the same.

Or maybe you have contacts with people from other Africa countries who could write a few sentences as well?

We can’t offer much in return. We’re not getting any money from preparing the exhibition as this is a non-profit activity. But in cooperation with the National Museum in Poland we can get the person’s opinion signed with his/her name and e-mail contact details printed and presented on to a lot of people in at least two big Polish cities. We can have your website presented as the partner of the exhibition as well.

We are looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes from Poland,
Szymon Myslinski and Anna Myślińska

Contact info:

post Amharic Comic Book

January 20th, 2011

Filed under: Events — Lissan Magazine @ 21:23

Amharic Comic book Launch in London

For those of you in London …

Well known for his comic and satirical story telling Alemayehu Tefera will be launching his Comic book “Abeshania” at Flamingo Restaurant (In Amharic).


Amongst our community his artwork triggers a powerful sense of recognition and nostalgia. By merging Ethiopian colours and forms with modern art techniques, Alemayehu brings you a well thought out social commentary on Ethiopian society both at home and abroad.

The event will be kicked off with a brief introduction by Alemayehu, which will be followed by a Q&A session, poetry and short animation. The inspiring traditional singer Zewditu Yohannes accompanied by the delightful Girma Tefera Kassa will present music from Ethiopia. For the more modern ears, DJ Nice will be at hand to spin the right tunes! Do not miss this unique event.

Free entry - snacks and refreshments will be served

The event will be held on Sunday 23rd January from 3pm until 8pm
Flamingo Restaurant
31 Goldhawk Road,
London, W12 8QQ

For more information call 07861 485 748

post Winter Chase Off Party

January 15th, 2011

Filed under: Events — Lissan Magazine @ 16:34

photo & design: admassu m. k.

Lissan Magazine and Offenes Haus der Kulturen invite you to be part of this season closing event. Don’t miss it if you are somewhere near Frankfurt on Saturday February 12. 2011. We have great dance music, affordable beverages and delicious traditional food. All you need is to be there and enjoy the multicultural party atmosphere. The entrance is only 3 Euro (A symbolic fee to cover our expenses).

The Lissan Team
Offenes Haus der Kulturen


December 1st, 2010

Filed under: Events — Lissan Magazine @ 13:38



Addis Ababa’s first International Photography Festival, directed and curated by Aida Muluneh, photographer and director of the Modern Art Museum-Gebre Kristos Desta Centre, will take place from December 7th to 11th 2010.


The first edition of ADDIS FOTO FEST will bring together African and African Diaspora photographers, in order to foster a dialogue through various events and workshops. With the participation of representatives from the global photography market, the activities of the festival will be an opportunity to expose the participants to the various ways in which images of Africa are produced, negotiated, and marketed.

Every day of the festival, multiple events will be taking place, from training to exhibition, and from discussion to screening, offering a wonderful opportunity to engage with international photographers and curators. Three residency programs, with Akinbode Akinbiyi (Nigeria), Yo-Yo Gonthier (France) and Dawit L. Petros (Canada), have already started off activities in November These residencies will lead to exhibitions opening during the festival. In total, over a dozen shows will be opening during the week of celebrations, starting with a group exhibition titled “Ethiopia: Interior Visions” featuring eight photographers from various parts of the world with a focus on Ethiopia. In addition, the opening will feature a tribute to legendary photographer Shemelis Desta, who will be in attendance. .

The festival is not only about displaying and screening images, it will also include a closed portfolio review organized by the Goethe-Institut of South Africa. The reviews will bring together twelve emerging photographers from around the continent, whose work will be reviewed by celebrated curators such as Simon Njami and Chris Dercon. The 40 participants flying in from 18 different countries will also gather in the Institute of Ethiopian Studies for 2 panel discussions on ethics and standards of photography in Africa, with the participation of the Ethiopian artistic and media communities.

ADDIS FOTO FEST is supported by the African Union and the delegation of the European Union to the African Union, the Addis Ababa University, the Spanish Cooperation (AECID), the Prince Claus Fund, the British Council, the Goethe-Institut, the Alliance éthio-française and CulturesFrance, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Canadian Embassy, as well as private companies.



Shemelis Desta
Against the political and historical events that defined the twentieth century, Shemelis Desta recorded the tumultuous history of Ethiopia. For the first time in a major exhibition the key figures and moments he captured are revealed. From the early 60s until deposition Desta was Haile Selassie’s, Emperor of Ethiopia 1930 – 1974, official court photographer. During this time he took photographs of state leaders, including a youthful Queen Elizabeth II, paying their respects. Following the infamous 1974 military coup and subsequent deposition of the Emperor, Desta continued to record government activity under the rule of the military dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam. Desta captured the colourful pageantry of state military processions as well as a state visit from Fidel Castro.

Akinbode Akinbiyi
Akinbode Akinbiyi was born of Nigerian parents in Oxford, England, in 1946. Today he lives in Berlin, working almost worldwide from there. His school and university experiences reach from Nigeria to England and Germany. He took his B.A. Degree in English at Ibadan University, Nigeria. Akinbode has been working as a freelance photographer since 1977. He got a STERN reportage grant to work in the cities of Lagos, Kano and Dakar in 1987 and was co-founder of UMZANZSI, a cultural center in Clermont Township in Durban, South Africa, in 1993. Akinbode Akinbiyi’s main photographic interest focuses on large, sprawling mega cities. He is working on the four biggest cities on the African continent – Lagos, Cairo, Kinshasa and Johannesburg -, aiming at spreading these topics through serious art books and exhibitions. Akindbode has taken part in many international exhibitions and his publications have been printed worldwide. He also works as a curator and leader of photographic workshops.

Yo-Yo Gonthier
Yo-Yo Gonthier was born in Niamey, Niger, in 1974. He graduated with a Masters in Photography and Multimedia from Paris VIII University in 1997 and has since been working as a freelance photographer, primarily based in Paris. The object of his work is the erasure of memory in a western world where the essential values seem to be speed, progress and technology.

He seeks the sense of wonder, in a tension between attraction and repulsion, bringing his own interpretation to night-time photography and the use of light and dark/chiaroscuro. His nocturnal studies have already provided the material for several exhibitions, including Les lanternes sourdes, a study of shuttered dark lanterns, in 2004. He is also interested in the remnants of France’s colonial past, investigating the friction between history and memory.

This ongoing project already gave rise to a preliminary exhibition entitled Outre-mer at the Espace Khiasma, Paris, in June 2008. Yo-Yo Gonthier is also involved in a number of multimedia workshops, both in schools and hospitals. He is currently artist in residence at St Exupery middle school near Paris, working on the La Peau de la lune project on the theme of fligh. He recently completed a commission for the Parc de la Villette, Paris for the 2009 Kréyol Factory exhibition and currently participates in the Biennial of African Photography, in Bamako, Mali.

Dawit L. Petros
Dawit L. Petros was born in Asmara, Eritrea, and received his MFA in 2007 from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He was a 2008-2009 Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem. He has exhibited his work in group shows throughout Canada and in the United States, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Wedge Curatorial Projects, Toronto; the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Photographic Resource Centre, Boston; Massachusetts College of Art, Boston; Harbourfront Gallery, Toronto; Observatory 4,Montreal; Maison de la Culture Frontenac, Montréal; and Prefix Gallery, Toronto. He has received fellowships, as well as an Art Matters Foundation grant.

Zacharias Abubeker
Zach Abubeker is a photographer living and working in Chicago. He attended Columbia College Chicago, where he attained his BFA in Photography. He has recently shown at The Center Gallery in Wichita, Kansas, as well as in Columbia College’s BFA/BA photography exhibition. His work explores ideas of self-identity and the intermingling of race and culture. He plans to pursue an MFA in studio art within the next two years.

Simon Njami
Simon Njami is an independent lecturer, art critic, novelist and essayist. He lives in France, and has Cameroonian roots. He was also a consultant in visual arts for the Association Française d’Action Artistique and co-founder and editor-in-chief of the cultural magazine “Revue Noire”. Njami has been the artistic director of the Bamako photography biennale, and was co-curator with Fernando Alvim of the first African pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. He has curates numerous exhibitions of African art and photography, including Africa Remix and the first African Art Fair, held in Johannesburg in 2008, and most recently, “A Useful Dream” at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of African indenpendences in the framework of the Visionary Africa festival.

Endalkachew Tesfa
Endalkachew Tesfa was born November 14/1952 in Addis Ababa, He did his primary education in Ethiopia and his secondary education in the US. He then attended the Montgomery Community College school of communication where he developed interest in photography; later he attended Corcoran school of Art in Washington DC, concentrating on Photography. After Corcoran Endalkachew attended several photography classes at the US Department of Agriculture where he specialized in commercial photographing of products and establishments. To name a few, Endalkachew and partner Andarge Asfaw established F/Stop studio in Silver spring MD and worked with companies like Black & Decker, Mobil and other major companies, and later worked for a major retail studio (Sears Portrait Studio) as a studio photographer then as a studio manager, until promoted to district manager in Washington DC area, Philadelphia and Delaware, before moving back to Ethiopia . He currently works in a family printing and publishing business and has been the General manager for the past 13 years. Amongst others, Endalkachew has exhibitied at the Smithsonian Institute and Adams Morgan day, Washington in Group exhibitions and at Asni Gallery , Addis Ababa , in 2000 for a Solo Exhibition.

Grace Ndiritu
Grace Ndiritu was born in 1976 in Birmingham and lives and works in London. She studied at Winchester School of Art, London; De Ateliers, Amsterdam; and had a UK studio residency at Delfina Studios, London (2004-2006). Her ‘Hand-crafted videos’ and ‘Video Paintings’ have been widely exhibited, recent solo shows at the Chisenhale Gallery, London (2007), the 51st Venice Biennale (2005) and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2005) Recent group shows include those at the International Center of Photography, New York (2009), Studio Museum Harlem, New York (2008), Dakar Biennale, Senegal (2008) and Metropolitan Museum of Art and Grey Art Gallery, New York (2008).

Pierrot Men
Born in Madagascar from a franco-malagasy mother and a Chinese father, Pierrot Men (which literally means “light” in Chinese) is a photographer. Laureate of the Mother Jones International Fund Documentary Photography and winner of the Leica prize (USA), his photographs are regularly exhibited worldwide: from Paris to Brussels, Bamako, Las Palmas or Algiers, through Antananarivo or Saint-Denis de La Réunion. He lives and works on the island. He is also the founder and manager of a photo lab that bears his name.

Salim Amin
Salim Amin, an only child of Mohamed “Mo” Amin, undertakes a journey into the life of the frequently absent, globetrotting father he loved, revered and feared. In his late teens, Mohamed Amin abandons his studies to pursue a career in photography, which, over the course of thirty years, will turn him into a frontline cameraman extraordinaire – and, arguably, the most renowned photojournalist of his era.

Dudley M. Brooks
Dudley M. Brooks became a photographer, he says with a laugh, because he “refused to get a real job.” “Being a photographer gives you a license to go out and see how people live,” says Brooks. “And in order for us to learn about each other, we have to see how other people live.” From the psychedelic fury of an all-night rave dance party to roommates clowning around at the Laundromat, Brooks captures the motion and energy of the world at large. Brooks has been with The Post since 1983. He is the Senior photo director at Ebony magazine.

Antonio Fiorente
Antonio Fiorente is a photographer living and working in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Working in both the commercial and artistic sectors he is best known for his ‘life’ and documentary work, which focuses on the people and landscape of rural, tribal Ethiopia, fiercely revealing the other side of this culturally enriched nation, whose tarnished image of drought and poverty dominate worldwide perception. His work seeks to explain and express the situation; communicating the artistry of the photographer, the skills and knowledge existing behind the camera giving the photo identity. He has been exhibited worldwide and achieved critical accreditation, achieving the 2003 4th African Press Photo Award.

Mark Sealy
Mark Sealy has a special interest in photography and its relationship to social change, identity politics and human rights. In his role as director of Autograph ABP he has initiated the production of well over 50 various publications, produced exhibitions worldwide, residency projects and commissioned photographers globally.

During his time with Autograph ABP, Sealy has jointly initiated and developed a £7.96 million capital building project (Rivington Place) in partnership with the Institute of International Visual Arts. This is the first new build visual arts project to be built in London for over 40 years. He has guest lectured extensively throughout the UK and abroad including The Royal College of Art and currently at Sothebys Art Institute where he lectures on the subject of global photography. He has written for the several international photography journals, including most recently for Foam Magazine. He has severed as a jury member World Press Photography and Sony’s World Photography Competition.

Sealy’s most recent large scale curated project was “Disposable People: a Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition which opened at Royal Festival Hall in London Oct 08 and toured nationally throughout 2009 the was viewed by over 450,000 people, and the first one person show for Sammy Baloji in London. His book project with Phaidon Press Limited titled “Different” on photography and identity produced with Professor Stuart Hall has received critical acclaim. In 2007, Sealy was awarded the Hood Medal for services to photography by the Royal Photographic Society. He is currently a PhD candidate at Durham University. His research focuses on photography and cultural violence. He is currently working on a major photography show for Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada which will examine issues of representation and human rights due to open in 2012.

Jamel Shabazz
Born in Brooklyn, Shabazz is a photographer, youth activist and long time member of the New York City Department of Corrections. Active as a photographer since age 15, he came to prominence with the publication of his first book, Back in the Days (2001), a document of New York’s early hip hop scene (1977-82). He has since published two further books, The Last Sunday in June (2003) and A Time Before Crack (2005). Ken Johnson, writing in the New York Times, has described Shabazz as “the best kind of photojournalist: one driven simply by curiosity about other human beings”. Jamel Shabazz lives in Long Island, New York.

Sammy Baloji
Sammy Baloji was born in 1978 in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, where he still lives and works. After graduating in Literature and Human Sciences at the University of Lubumbashi, he started out doing cartoons and then turned to video and photography. At the beginning, he focussed his work on ethnography and body expressiveness. Later he has become interested in the cultural heritage of Katanga, his province, and particularly in its colonial architecture. He has taken part into many different projects and his films and photos have been shown in several international exhibitions.

Maurizio Frullani
Maurizio Frullani was born in 1942 in Ronchi dei Legionari, Italy, where he now lives. He graduated at Upper Institut og Physical Training in Rome and has been a photographer since 1964. Since 1974 he has been taking a special interest in travel photography. In 1974 and in 1976 he went by car from Italy to India passing through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then he went back again
more time in India and Nepal, studying North India Classical Music. From 1993 to 2000 he lived in Eritrea working as teacher at Italian School of Asmara, visiting at the same time, Ethiopia, Egypt, Lesotho and Yemen. He exhibited his photos in more than 130 exhibitions, in Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, France, Austria, India, Eritrea and Russia.

Rosa Verhoeve
Rosa Verhoeve lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She graduated in Sculpture/Autonomous Works from the Rietveld Art Academy Amsterdam in 1995. After her graduation, while living in a rural community in France for seven years, she discovered the powerfool tool of photography. She became the villagers’ storyteller ithrough images, and has been a storyteller ever since.

Rosa worked in Europe, Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan) and Asia. She has a special relationship with Indonesia, because both her mother and grandmother originate from Java, Indonesia. Recently she has been working on a personal photo project called Kopi Susu (Coffee with Milk) in Indonesia and the Netherlands, about her mixed origins.

Rosa taught photography in Kenya, Ethiopia and Indonesia and is currently teaching Documentary Photography at the Dutch Fotovakschool. In 2006 she won the national Zilveren Camera (Art category) for her series “Salto Vitale” about Ethiopian youth circuses. In 2009, Christian Caujolle (Agence VU) selected her series TB+, about tuberculose in Sudan, for the international exhibition Stop TB.

Chester Higgins Jr
Chester Higgins is one of the premiere photographers of his generation. Because he believes art humanizes us, the subjects of his photographs are of utmost importance to him. His images resonate with a spiritual echo, which maintains the image and frees it from the constraints of time. Much of Higgins’ imagery is inspired by his quest to redefine the visual document as it relates to people of African descent. Viewers gain a rare insight into cultural behavior — a window to another place and time — through his portraits and studies of living rituals and ancient civilizations.

An Alabama native, he has been a staff photographer for The New York Times since 1975. His photographs have appeared in numerous publications including ARTnews, New York Times Sunday Magazine, Life, Newsweek, Fortune, Time, Ebony, Essence, The New Yorker and Archaeology. His solo exhibitions have been hosted by International Center of Photography, The Smithsonian Institution,The Museum of African Art, The Museum of Photographic Arts, The Schomburg Center, among others. He is the recipient of grants from The Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the International Center of Photography, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andy Warhol Foundation (ICP).

Over the past five decades, Higgins has produced six books of compelling images reflecting a sensitive and in-depth diary of his explorations of the human Diaspora.

Jean-Baptiste Eczet
Jean-Baptiste Eczet is a french anthropologist who works in the lower Omo valley since 2006. His interest lie in the conception of the individual which is expressed, among the Mursi, through several aesthetical manifestations: body ornamentations, names and poems. His photographic work can be seen as complementary to his anthropological research: his pictures show attitudes that go beyond a cultural determination, the persons behind the individuals.

Nick Danziger
Nick Danziger was born in London but grew up in Monaco and Switzerland. He developed a taste for adventure and travel from a young age and, inspired by the comic-strip Belgian reporter Tintin, took off on his first solo trip to Paris aged 13. Without a passport or air ticket he managed to enter the country and travel around, selling sketches to make money. Nick’s initial ambition was to be an artist, and he later attended The Chelsea School of Art, where he gained an MA in Fine Art and was soon represented by the Robert Fraser Gallery.

Nick has spent much of the last 25 years photographing the world most dispossessed and disadvantaged. More recent photography projects have included a study of the impact of armed conflict on women and travel to eight of the world’s poorest countries to meet individuals living in extreme poverty. The aim was to document the progress being made towards meeting the eight ‘Millennium Development Goals’ set by the United Nations to eradicate poverty by 2015.


For more information…
CONTACT: Fitsame Teferra
TELEPHONE: +251 921 23 94 66

post Celebrate Pan-Africanism

November 3rd, 2010

Filed under: Events — Lissan Magazine @ 10:38

Celebrating Pan-Africanism through Emperor Haile Selassie
Ethiopian Global Initiative
November 2, 2010

By Samuel M. Gebru

On this day, November 2, 80 years ago in 1930, Haile Selassie was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia at the Cathedral of Saint George in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Ethiopia’s last Emperor, Haile Selassie, was born on July 23, 1892. He is generally regarded as the father of African unity and the face of the Pan-African movement. Emperor Haile Selassie reigned for 43 years and 314 days and was one of the world’s most well regarded leaders during his era. Loved by some, hated by others, Emperor Haile Selassie’s unflagging commitment to Africa’s independence movement and to strengthening the African diaspora should be recognized by all Ethiopians, Africans and people of African descent worldwide.

It has been 118 years since Teferi Mekonnen, His Majesty’s given name, was born in Eastern Ethiopia. He died on August 27, 1975 in unknown circumstances after being put under house arrest by the military-run Government of Ethiopia that reigned from 1974 until 1991. After the Emperor’s corpse was buried under his bathroom, his remains were excavated in 1991 when Northern rebels toppled Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam’s Government. In 2000, a formal funeral was given to Emperor Haile Selassie presided by the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, although the current Government of Ethiopia was reluctant to recognize the Emperor’s formal burial as a State Funeral.

The work of Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley, Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta and many others was inspired by the leadership and statesmanship exhibited by the “Lion of Judah.” Emperor Haile Selassie is also responsible for expanding the foreign bases of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and promoted literacy and advancement within Ethiopia and the African continent. As a founding father of the Organization of African Unity, now African Union, he was a resounding pillar to the sovereignty of the continent.

The Ethiopian Global Initiative is going to work with the Crown Council of Ethiopia to organize a yearlong celebration of the legacy of Emperor Haile Selassie from July 23, 2011 until July 23, 2012, culminating in a celebration in Addis Ababa in honor of what would have been his 120th Birthday. EGI wants to celebrate the life and achievements of the Emperor as it relates to the Pan-African movement that he helped engineer. It is imperative that we work in collaboration with the Crown Council of Ethiopia and other Ethiopian cultural, youth and civic organizations both within Ethiopia and abroad so that the Emperor’s birthday celebration may be inclusive and appropriate.

One important way EGI will celebrate the legacy of Emperor Haile Selassie is by undertaking a global “Haile Selassie 120th Birthday Day of Service” that will include Ethiopians and non-Ethiopians giving back to their local communities. Whether it is cleaning a park, reading to children or cooking food for the homeless, the “Haile Selassie 120th Birthday Day of Service” would strive to celebrate the work of the Emperor. The service events would be held on July 23, 2011 simultaneously throughout the world. Participants would be able to post their pictures, photos and blog articles to a central website that would strive to showcase the legacy of the Emperor on the African diaspora. The “Haile Selassie 120th Birthday Day of Service” will launch a yearlong celebration of the Emperor’s life and achievements.

To get involved please email: or call +1-617-528-9434.

post Condom Catwalk

March 7th, 2010

Filed under: Events — Lissan Magazine @ 16:19

ETHIOPIA: Condom creations grace the catwalk

ADDIS ABABA, 9 February 2010 (PlusNews) - The whims of fashion collided with some of life’s harsher realities when, during a recent fashion show in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, condoms were the fabric of choice on the catwalk.

Ten thousand male and female condoms were used in the fashion shows

At the Condom Clothes Fashion Show - held in January and organized by social marketing group DKT with the Zalef Fine Art and Fashion Design Institute - 10 spectacular dresses made exclusively from 10,000 male and female condoms of all colours, shapes and sizes were on show.

“In Ethiopia, condoms have a bad image; people are afraid when they want to buy condoms at the supermarket - they even try to hide the condoms quickly after they have bought them,” Emebet Alemu, designer of the dresses and organizer of the shows, told IRIN/PlusNews. “We wanted to change that by using an art event; [maybe] the show will open people’s minds a little … maybe it will make them [condoms] seem more normal for people.”

The latex garments were later modelled at a show - held under the theme, “Abstain, Be faithful and use Condoms” - at the Hilton Hotel in Ethiopia’s capital; there is also a plan for the event to be taken to Adama, a major regional city.

The fashion initiative is the latest move by DKT to try to break the stigma associated with condom use in Ethiopia; in 2009, it set up a condom café in Addis, and ran a two-month campaign to distribute condoms and kerosene to house helps in the capital.
read more…

source: irinnews

post The Devil’s Scarf…

January 6th, 2009

Filed under: Events — Lissan Magazine @ 12:12


The Devil’s Scarf &
The Lion’s Whiskers

Traditional Ethiopian Fairy Tales
Performed by Azeb Worku Sibane

Join apexart as we imagine our way to the Ethiopian countryside to hear actress Azeb Worku Sibane perform “The Devil’s Scarf” and “The Lion’s Whiskers.” Traditionally in Ethiopia, neighbors gather in the house of the oldest man of the village for an evening of coffee, kolo (a snack of salted grains), areke (a locally produced alcohol) and story telling. The crowd eats and drinks until the performance begins, when food and drink are forgotten. Here audience members will be encouraged to join in the telling of the story, through clapping and advice to the characters in the story.


Azeb Worku Sibane lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and has worked professionally for more than fifteen years in diverse roles including actress, production manager, translator, theater director and playwright. Azeb has performed at Ethiopia’s National Theatre since 1992 and has appeared in productions such as “Ha -hu weyim Pe-Pu” by Laureate Tsegaye G/medhin and “Keadmas bashahge” by Bealu Girma.

In 2006 Azeb directed and acted in “Eight Women,” originally a French comedy drama that she translated to Amharic. This was the first theater production in Ethiopia to be staged entirely by women. Additionally, Azeb has performed in numerous plays at the Addis Ababa Cultural Center, and in live transmissions at the Ethiopia National Radio. In 2007 Azeb Worku performed at The Swedish Theater Biennial in Örebro as part of the Performing Arts Cooperation between Sweden and East Africa (PANCSEA).

source: apexart

291 Church Street, New York, NY 10013
t. 212.431.5270 f. 646.827.2487,

post CNN Heroes honored

November 29th, 2008

Filed under: Events — Lissan Magazine @ 12:55

CNN Heroes honored in Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD, California (CNN) — Singer Christina Aguilera joined fellow Grammy Award winners Alicia Keys and John Legend for “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” which honored the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2008.

The show, taped before an audience of more than 2,500 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, premiered on the global networks of CNN on Thanksgiving night.

It reairs on CNN/US and CNN en Espanol at 10 p.m. ET Friday and 8 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, and on CNN International at 5 a.m. and 12 p.m. ET Friday.

Liz McCartney, dedicated to helping survivors of Hurricane Katrina rebuild their homes, was named 2008 CNN Hero of the Year.

McCartney, who will receive $100,000 to continue her work just outside New Orleans, was selected from among the top 10 CNN Heroes after six weeks of online voting at More than 1 million votes were cast.

“To the country and the world, I ask you to please join us,” said McCartney, of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. “Together we can continue to rebuild families’ homes and lives. … If you join us, we’ll be unstoppable.”

Hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” featured musical performances by Aguilera, Keys and Legend.

Keys sang “Superwoman,” her tribute to women around the world, from her hit album “As I Am.” Aguilera performed her hit single “Beautiful.”

Legend, backed by the world-renowned Agape Choir, performed “If You’re Out There,” from his just-released album, “Evolver.”

All three performances echoed the spirit of the CNN Heroes campaign, which salutes everyday people accomplishing extraordinary things in their communities and beyond.

“In this time of economic turmoil, it is such a relief to know that there are people like these heroes, people who care more for others than they do for themselves,” Cooper said.

The top 10 CNN Heroes, chosen by a blue-ribbon panel from an initial pool of more than 3,700 viewer nominations, were each honored with a documentary tribute and introduced by a celebrity presenter. Each of the top 10 Heroes receives $25,000.

Actors Cameron Diaz, Salma Hayek, John Krasinski, Forest Whitaker, Meg Ryan, Terrence Howard, Lucy Liu, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale and Selena Gomez were among the stars joining in CNN’s tribute to the top 10.

In addition, actor Hugh Jackman presented People magazine’s 2008 Heroes Among Us award to six recipients honored by the magazine.

Award-winning producer-director Joel Gallen returned to executive produce this year’s program. Among his credits, Gallen produced telethon events supporting victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina, winning an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award for “America: A Tribute to Heroes.”

The Kodak Theatre is best known as the first permanent home of the Academy Awards.

In alphabetical order, the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2008 as chosen by the blue-ribbon panel are:

Tad Agoglia, Houston, Texas: Agoglia’s First Response Team provides immediate help to areas hit by natural disasters. In a little more than a year, he and his crew have helped thousands of victims at more than 15 sites across the United States, free of charge.

Yohannes Gebregeorgis, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Moved by the lack of children’s books and literacy in his native Ethiopia, Gebregeorgis established Ethiopia Reads, bringing free public libraries and literacy programs to thousands of Ethiopian children.

Carolyn LeCroy, Norfolk, Virginia: After serving time in prison, LeCroy started the Messages Project to help children stay connected with their incarcerated parents. She and volunteer camera crews have taped roughly 3,000 messages from inmates to their children.

Anne Mahlum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: On her daily morning jogs, Mahlum used to run past homeless men. Today, she’s helping to transform lives by running with them, and others as part of her Back On My Feet program.

Liz McCartney, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana: McCartney moved to New Orleans to dedicate herself to helping Hurricane Katrina survivors move back into their homes. Her nonprofit, St. Bernard Project, has rebuilt the homes of more than 120 families for free.

Phymean Noun, Toronto, Ontario: Growing up in Cambodia, Noun struggled to complete high school. Today, she offers hundreds of Cambodian children who work in Phnom Penh’s trash dump a way out through free schooling and job training.

David Puckett, Savannah, Georgia: Puckett started PIPO Missions to bring ongoing prosthetic and orthotic care to those in need. Since November 2000, he has helped more than 420 people in southeastern Mexico, free of charge.

Maria Ruiz, El Paso, Texas: Several times a week, Ruiz crosses the border into Juarez, Mexico, bringing food, clothing and toys to hundreds of impoverished children and their families.

Marie Da Silva, Los Angeles, California: Having lost 14 family members to AIDS, the nanny funds a school in her native Malawi, where half a million children have been orphaned by the disease.

Viola Vaughn, Kaolack, Senegal: The Detroit, Michigan, native moved to Senegal to retire. Instead, a group of failing schoolchildren asked her to help them pass their classes. Today, her 10,000 Girls program is helping hundreds of girls succeed in school and run their own businesses.


post Rainy Party

September 14th, 2008

Filed under: Events — Admassu @ 21:13

We were nervous the whole week about the party we were organizing for the 12th of September. Me and my fellow organizers were permanently connected via mobile and email. I felt sometimes as if we were leading some huge financial establishment. The preparation was so intense and time-robbing. Going through the whole arsenal of our music CDs, converting the songs to mp3 in order to play them with the DJ software, the huge grocery which has devoured most of our financial asset, buying beverages suitable for our fellow citizens and guests, and looking for kind friends who would help us preparing the food and looking for friendly girls to take care of the bar.

We have distributed enough flyers 3 weeks prior to the occasion and we were sure that the news of our preparation was received positively by most of our Ethiopian community in Frankfurt and surrounding.  We have estimated to have at least 200 guests. So the whole process of our preparation was meant to deal with this amount of guests.

12th of September arrived carrying unpredicted weather. The day begun and ended with continues rainfall, creepy Grey daylight, and  with a sneaky cold and wet air. For the first time in the last 4 or more months, the sun has completely disappeared from the sky and the evening came without seeing a glimpse of it’s light.

Despite various unexpected obstacles of technical nature, we have managed to finish our preparation of the party-hall on the right time. We had great food, a lot of beverages to serve, and a great music collection appropriate for the New Year event.

We celebrated till early morning though our guests weren’t as many as we assumed. Those who were there haven’t regret the uncomfortable fact of going through the wet weather to come to us. We are grateful that they have made it. We hope the weather God will be kind to us on our next party which we certainly will organize in the next possible occasion.

We wish all Ethiopians and friends the best year.

post TEZA

September 1st, 2008

Filed under: Events — Lissan Magazine @ 09:40

Haile Gerima’s latest film TEZA@Biennale Venice 08


Hope this finds you all well and that I did not jam anybodies mailbox. Im really sorry if I did.

I am happy to spread the word that Haile Gerimas (famous for SANKOFA) latest film TEZA will be shown at the Biennale in Venice 08, the premiere being on the 2nd of September.


TEZA also embraces the bond between Continental and Diasporan realities. The still much to hidden his/her stories of the African Diaspora in Germany are being embodied by the characters of Cassandra and Teodross.

Below a few extracts from the pressbook:

The idea of identity and liberation is perhaps the defining goal for me and my vision for an independent cinema. To tell one’s story is to place one’s name on the map of history and to do so while honoring the struggle of ancestors is essential to ensure that future generations have the documentation to create their own blueprint of survival. The history, culture and socio-economic well-being of all peoples of African descent is my primary concern, but above all the preservation of their humanity is the greatest motivation for me as a filmmaker.”

Haile Gerima - Biography:
“Haile is perhaps best known as the writer, producer and director of Sankofa (1993). With this historically inspired dramatic tale of African resistance to slavery he won international acclaim: he was awarded First Prize at the African Film Festival in Milan, Italy. Best Cinematography at Africa’s premier Festival of Pan African Countries known as FESPACO and competing for the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.”

For further information, if you are interested in reporting on TEZA
feel free to contact me. Telephoninterviews with Haile Gerima can be arranged.

Teza, set in Ethiopia and Germany, chronicles the return of the African intellectual Anberber to his country of birth during the repressive Marxist regime of Haile Mariam Mengistu and the recognition of his own displacement and powerlessness at the dissolution of his people’s humanity and social values.

After Anberber spends several years in Germany studying medicine, he returns to Ethiopia only to find the country of his youth replaced by turmoil. His dream of using his craft to improve the health of Ethiopians is squashed by a military junta that uses scientists for their own political ends. Seeking the comfort of his countryside home, Anberber finds no shelter from violence. The solace that the memories of his youth provide is quickly replaced by the competing forces of the military and rebelling factions. Anberber must determine if he can bear the strain or piece together a life from the fragments that lay around him.

Director’s Note
Teza provides me with the opportunity to tell the story of those African intellectuals who find themselves dislocated by a series of complicated historical circumstances. To evade the larger world, Anberber, the principal character of Teza, retreats to the land of his childhood – even if that becomes the ultimate end of his existence. But immediately he is faced with all the socio-economic ills of his birthplace,lacking a place to hide. Like Prometheus, he went to bring the fire of modernization from Europe … however the fire he has acquired can’t help him cure the ills of his village, a village so inundated with countless needs. Consequently, as I did in real life, he mentally escapes to his childhood memory, when things appeared fantastic and yet prosperous, mentally it becomes his last refuge from everything that is real.

Even though he wants to be inactive in the daily dramatic reality of his village … the reality of his village, at least morally, still has the capacity to incriminate him. Moreover, his past isn’t something he can easily forget either. It belongs to a memory that is collective of his generation.

Every immigrant, when getting older, hears the soundtracks of childhood. Now, like in Teza, when I go to Ethiopia, the present Ethiopia is a nightmare for me, I create a psychological refuge and hide in my past when it was still fantastic. When trees had fruits, when we were kids. It’s not only your parents that feed you. The land fed me. Wild fruits, raspberrys, blueberrys, everything you can think of. When I went to shootTeza in 2004, I couldn’t find the trees where I used to eat those wild fruits. It’s part of the desertification, the global ecological change has even destroyed the memory of taste.

I come from a family where my father was a storyteller, a playwright. My grandmother is a very good storyteller as well. I was born in a house where electricity only came much later. So I was around the fire with my grandmother most of my adolescence years, before I am exposed to the cinema, listening to her stories. And there are these aesthetics that are passed down to me from my grandmother and my father as well as my stories. When my father did plays I went with him to various provinces. He was a nationalistic writer and he himself fought during the Italian occupation. Logically most of his plays were about Ethiopian patriots, who fought invaders including the Turkish Empire as well as during the Italian attempt of colonize Ethiopia. I grew around stories and songs and narrative drama that come out of my particular cultural aesthetics.

The idea of identity and liberation is perhaps the defining goal for me and my vision for an independent cinema. To tell one’s story is to place one’s name on the map of history and to do so while honoring the struggle of ancestors is essential to ensure that future generations have the documentation to create their own blueprint of survival. The history, culture and socio-economic well-being of all peoples of African descent is my primary concern, but above all the preservation of their humanity is the greatest motivation for me as a filmmaker.

best wishes
Araba Evelyn Johnston-Arthur

post A Walk to Beautiful

April 24th, 2008

Filed under: Events — Lissan Magazine @ 10:36

A Walk to Beautiful - a film about Ethiopian women suffering from childbirth injuries

The award winning feature-length documentary “A Walk to Beautiful” tells the stories of five Ethiopian women who suffer from devastating childbirth injuries and embark on a journey to reclaim their lost dignity. Rejected by their husbands and ostracized by their communities, these women are left to spend the rest of their lives in loneliness and shame. They make the choice to take the long and arduous journey to the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in search of a cure and a new life. The film has a New Zealand connection in that it features an interview with Dr Catherine Hamlin who along with her New Zealand born husband helped set up and worked in the hospitals. Most recently Dr Hamlin has been in New Zealand raising funds for their Hamlin Charitable Fistula Hospitals Trust.

Bellow is a short trailer of the film.


Boston Walks to Beautiful in A Walk to Beautiful


Boston, Massachusetts, USA – The Boston Branch of the Ethiopian American Youth Initiative proudly held a screening of the award-winning documentary A Walk to Beautiful on Saturday, April 5, 2008 at Boston University. The event was filled with enthusiasm and motivation, especially after the screening of the documentary.

The event began with welcoming remarks by Professor James Pritchett of the Boston University African Studies Center (BU ASC), the event’s sponsor. In his remarks, Professor Pritchett underscored the value and importance of EAYI as a youth organization of Ethiopians and Americans helping Ethiopia. “Usually, it is us that reach to community organizations, but this time they sought after us,” Dr. Pritchett stated, in expressing that BU ASC is looking forward to more partnerships with EAYI.

Following Professor Pritchett’s remarks, the documentary, A Walk to Beautiful was screened. At times the audience laughed, at other times the audience cried; however, the message of “Tesfa” (“hope” in Amharic) was still there for the victims of fistula and the audience. Sister Manna Heshe, a Registered Nurse as Children’s Hospital Boston and former nurse at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital took the stage and eloquently portrayed her first experience at Fistula Hospital as a student, “I asked why a specific girl was not sociable and I frowned upon it, but Dr. Reginald Hamlin [the late co-founder] told me simply that she had fistula, explained that to me, and once she was repaired this girl was an amazing, beautiful young lady.” She passionately ended by saying “I am still a student of fistula today.”

EAYI Chairman and Founder Samuel Gebru welcomed the audience and shared his experience visiting the hospital as well as he talked about EAYI and our project, The Fistula Project, designed to help the women of Ethiopia with fistula by covering their medical expenses. Samuel stressed that it is the obligation of Ethiopians to help their own country before seeking others to help. “We are committed to helping women with fistula not because we want to but because we have a promise to our mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts and grandmothers.”

The event’s Keynote Speaker, Mrs. Abaynesh Asrat, Board Director of The Fistula Foundation and Founder of Nation to Nation Networking, who came from New York City, poignantly spoke about the efforts of the American and Ethiopian communities in the US that helped build a hospital in Harrar, Ethiopia. “It is important that we rise up to the challenge because building the Harrar Fistula Hospital gave us a sense of ownership in Ethiopia’s development. It is our duty to help Ethiopia progress.” Mrs. Abaynesh Asrat’s speech focused on three specific topics which helped portray how effective the film is.

First, Abaynesh pointed out how genuine the documentary is in portraying the energy and power of the women to change their lives after fistula repair surgery. The “Tesfa Ineste” (“lets give them hope” in Amharic) Campaign of the Fistula Foundation is a program which Abaynesh Asrat heads. Tesfa Ineste was created by Abaynesh to build the Harrar Fistula Hospital as a response to the other regional fistula hospitals being built by Australians, Germans, etc. Abaynesh stressed the importance of volunteerism to give Ethiopians a sense of ownership in helping women restore their dignity. She explained the advantages to volunteering and how the United States is built on volunteers.

The speakers engaged the audience in a discussion session where many questions were posed to the panel. The energy in the room reflected a common consensus amongst the audience that “awareness and enforcement of laws promoting women’s rights should be implemented,” as a guest said. The main question of the discussion was “Is Ethiopia’s Government doing anything currently to promote women’s rights in the fight to end fistula? If so, what can Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia do to complement the efforts?” The issues of globalization and the “brain-drain” of Ethiopian medical professionals were discussed as well as civic advocacy in Ethiopia to promote the issues of women’s rights.

A major comment by a high school student was what put the room in thinking: “What are you [adults] doing to help include us youth in the volunteerism and leadership process? One day you all will pass away and I fear that we won’t be able to rise to the occasion,” said young Seble. She also asked Chairman Samuel to have youth networking events where youth would be able to develop leadership. Following that, the audience literally demanded that EAYI conduct another screening of A Walk to Beautiful.

A lively reception was followed in which the audience was able to discuss in depth with the speakers. Abaynesh Asrat and Samuel Gebru conducted the auction where an Ethiopian traditional dress, two Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopian Millennium Calendars and “Himbasha” (Ethiopian traditional bread) were sold by an excited crowd. The audience was inspired by the youth initiative’s determination to promote youth initiation and leadership and developing Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian American Youth Initiative wishes to thank the Boston University African Studies Center for sponsoring the event, Engel Entertainment for giving us the rights to screen the documentary before its world premiere, the Fistula Foundation and the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association for providing us with knowledge and experience about obstetric fistula and Ethiopian women. We also wish to recognize Professor James Pritchett, Sister Manna Heshe, Mr. Samuel Gebru and Mrs. Abaynesh Asrat for their enthusiasm and dedication to our efforts.

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