‘Africa State of Mind’ Will Stay with You

Jonathan Curiel, SF Weekly, September 18, 2019

The exhibit accounts for Africa’s past and present, but “Africa State of Mind” is less a history lesson than a lesson in thinking that is forward-looking and frequently fantastical. 

 

Ethiopian photographers contribute two highlights of “Hybrid Cities”: Michael Tsegaye’s portraits of changing Addis Ababa, “Future Memories,” where older, village-like neighborhoods are giving way to tall, modern buildings; and Girma Berta’s “Moving Shadows” series that shows the daily lives of Addis Ababa’s streets — but repositions single people or couples onto single-color backgrounds, which turns these Ethiopians, their belongings, and their shadows into almost literary figures that demand to be noticed. By depopulating scenes from Ethiopia’s teeming capital of some 3 million people and repopulating them into these scenic spaces, “Moving Shadows” manages to take people from the shadows of anonymity even as it bathes them in their own shadows.

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