"Streets of Addis": Celebrating the many realities of Ethiopia's capital

This photographic series by Ethiopian graphic designer Girma Berta celebrates Addis Ababa's people and street culture.

Girma Berta takes photographs of his home Addis Ababa and has collected them into a series called "Streets of Addis". With a background in painting and graphic design, Berta has an eye for colour and composition and a strong attraction to the realities of the city around him. He uses Instagram as a platform to share his creativity. 

When the series began, Berta was taking photos with his IPhone and would often leave them free of any captions – leaving it for the viewer to make up their own stories about the urban muses that appear in the shots. Everyone who knows Addis Ababa sees their own memories in the image and those who don't know the city will make up their own story.

Bold colours, street grundge and black and white images are all ways in which Berta tells his visual stories, often creating distinctive cut-outs of working people on the street.

The images in “Streets of Addis” tell the real story of Addis Ababa: beautiful, ugly, busy and without the tourist spin. It glorifies the everyday, turning moments that even the local people have stopped noticing into art.

Berta’s work has been featured on the Guardian and included in Photoville, New York in 2015 and at PhotoFest in Bamako, Mali. He is the founder of GBOX Creative Studios, a studio specialising in advertising, branding and web design in Addis Ababa.