The City of Saints: Eyerusalem Jiregna
Eyerusalem Adugna Jiregna (b.1993) is an emerging photographer and fashion designer based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Informed by her experience in design, she uses photography to document the vibrant everyday realities of the nation's inhabitants. She specialises in evocative and sensitive portraits, which are distinguished by their brilliant multitude of colours and textures.
Eyerusalem's series The City of Saints was created in the ancient walled citadel of Harar in eastern Ethiopia. The city's famed colourful buildings provide the ideal backdrop for images of the equally radiant residents. Harar, known as "Africa's Mecca", has a longstanding Islamic tradition which can be seen in the women who live there, each of whom is adorned with a headscarf and flowing garments. The women have an industrious air about them as they move to and fro carrying baskets and bags. As a body of work The City of Saints is candid and revealing, and it is palpable to the observer the lengths to which Eyerusalem has gone to remain unobtrusive and attentive to the scene and subject at hand.
Jiregna has received considerable acclaim for her work both in Ethiopia and internationally. She has exhibited at the Kasher Gallery, Refraction: New Photography of Africa and Its Diaspora (2018); From Our Perspective: Young Ethiopian Photographers Changing the Gaze; the New York photography festival Photoville 2016 and participated in the New York Times Portfolio Review 2016. Her work will be part of the upcoming exhibition: Treasures of Islam in Africa. From Timbuktu to Zanzibar at the Musée Mohammed VI d'art moderne et contemporain in Rabat. Eyerusalem Jiregna has studied in Ethiopia and in the USA. Her photographs have been featured among others on the Everyday Horn of Africa in Mfon: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora; Marie Claire and Whitewall Magazine. She was recently named as featured in the New York Times article "Five Art Accounts to Follow on Instagram Now".