6 Girma Berta
Ethiopian photographer Girma Berta pictures ordinary people going about their daily lives. In some images, they are working, in others they are playing, and in a few it’s hard to tell what exactly they are doing. But more often than not, they look like they are on their way somewhere, which, according to Amoako, creates a universality to his images. “We’re all going somewhere,” she says. “There’s a sense of an epic tale, a hero’s journey with which the viewer can connect empathetically.”
In Berta’s award-winning series Moving Shadows I and II, the working-class citizens in his hometown Addis Ababa are photographed, cut out, and the isolated figures are placed against vibrant backgrounds. But more recently, the artist has been travelling the continent to find his subjects. One of his more recent series titled The Motion shows people in African capitals on bikes, their background seemingly manipulated to suggest fast movement. “My photography style is focused on capturing the unique energy and personality of people living in urban areas,” the artist says. “I’m particularly drawn to the vibrant atmosphere of big cities, where people from all walks of life come together in a bustling mix of cultures, sounds, and sights.
“Through my photographs, I seek to showcase the vibrancy and diversity of the African continent, emphasising the beauty and strength of its people and creating a space for creativity and positivity to thrive,” he adds. “In this way, my work aims to bring about meaningful change and to empower people to embrace a spirit of joy and self-expression.”
As We See It by Aida Amoako is published by Hachette.
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