Photographer Martha Tadesse captures her Ethiopian truth

Ethiopian photographer Martha Tadesse hopes to share images of her travels through Addis Ababa with the world.

Martha Tadesse is an Ethiopian photographer, capturing images of her homeland and its people. Her inspiration comes from her community’s various cultures and traditions.

Like other wood carriers, Kebebush collects leaves and fallen branches

Tadesse gathers her subject matter on her regular walks, and travels through the country. She often visits Mount Entoto, which is where she first came across the women carrying wood from the forest, “they would carry 35 to 45 kilograms a day from the mountain to their houses which often could be 10 to 15 kilometers, they would do the same everyday waking up 5 am in the morning.” The wood gathered is sold in town, so that they can support their families.

Kebebush walks 10 to 15 kilometres to Mount Entoto to collect wood and leaves

It was here that Tadesse met Kebebush, whom she used as a muse for her work. Tadesse was taken by the strength and perseverance Kebebush showed: “I couldn’t even move her weighty load a bit but she managed to walk all the way down with her fuel wood loaded on her back, the sun on top of her head, walking slowly and ignoring her thirst convincingly.”

Kebebush has been making the same journey for eight years

Tadesse hopes to undo the misrepresentation of Africa and Ethiopia that is spread through the media, “I capture daily lives of people, stories, funny moments and cultures of different regions in Ethiopia to show the rest of the world, and even Ethiopians who didn’t get the chance to travel to the places I traveled to or didn’t have the time to engage with the community and learn about the cultures in the region.”

Tadesse spent a day with Kebebush, a local wood carrier

She hopes to portray a more accurate and positive image of the country, as well as to encourage other people and artists to share visions of their homes.

“Photography is one of the greatest tools you can easily communicate with your audience in raising awareness, educating and stirring emotions in all sorts of ways”, says Tadesse. 

To see more of Tadesse's photos follow her on Instagram

An image from Tadesse's fishermen series

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