Aïda Muluneh’s
Homebound: A Journey in Photography


Sharjah Art Museum
March 23-May 30, 2020 (Available Virtually)
View English Virtual Tour | View Arabic Virtual Tour

This exhibition, is a collaboration between The Africa Institute, Sharjah Art Foundation and the Sharjah Museum Authority. It was originally set to open on March 23, 2020, but waspostponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,The exhibition is conceived in two parts. The first part Aïda Muluneh’s Homebound: A Journey in Photography is curated by Salah M. Hassan with Sataan Al-Hassan as associate curator. The exhibition chronicles Aida Muluneh’s journey as an artist and a photojournalist, and her multiple contributions to imaging and image-making in photographic-based works since her return to her homeland Ethiopia in 2007, after years of living, studying and practising in North America. The exhibition focuses on a select number of works produced by the artist as series with thematic foci that exemplify Muluneh’s interest in several issues that range from history, identity, politics, home, and the current environmental and climate crisis. The works in this series represent stylized figures set for the most part against a flat background. The figural compositions overall are executed in bold colours and are set against a vastly flat background. Although Muluneh’s work is photo-based, the artist’s intervention with the medium has transformed these figures and their setting into painterly canvases that references a visual vocabulary echoing identifiably Ethiopian and Pan-African visual cultures and symbols. The exhibition also includes a selection of Muluneh’s earlier photojournalistic work, when she served as a photographer for the American daily newspaper The Washington Post. Visibly detected in Muluneh’s photojournalistic works are her keen interest in composition and close-up portraiture, which she has combined with innovative use of wide lenses. These traits have certainly anticipated the variety of styles and themes which she continues to explore in her latest work.

The second part, Addis Foto Fest: Nine Years Survey is curated by the artist Aida Muluneh reflecting on her journey as a founder and director of Addis Foto Fest (AFF) which she established in 2010 in Addis Ababa. Addis Foto Fest is a biennial festival of photography organized by Desta for Africa Creative Consulting PLC.


Salah M Hassan, Director, The Africa Institute, Sharjah, and Goldwin Smith Professor and Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities.

Sataan Al Hassan (Associate Curator) and coordinator of research and programming, The Africa Institute

Download Exhibition Booklet (PDF)

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