Salambo discovering Ethiopia
Back in Addis after a two months break in Europe. This time I feel I am coming back to a familiar environment, I can’t quite call it home as this will never be my home, but familiar surroundings. I enjoy having my own space after living off a suitcase for so many weeks. At this time of the year, we are very limited in what we can do in Addis. We are approaching the end of the so-called winter season, but it is still cold and raining although not as heavily as a month before. The roads are extremely muddy, the sky is grey and the houses are so damp that we need to light up a fire every night. But, we are going towards the dry and warm season so it is easier to bear. As I am writing, I am sitting at home, watching the rain and gloomy grey sky through my tinted glass window which makes everything even darker, and I am drinking countless cups of tea to keep warm.
My first outing in Addis was at the annual Art Fair at the Sheraton last weekend. As expected, no surprise there in terms of the art work and the artists on display. The hanging of the work is as bad as the previous years, with the few good pieces completely overshadowed by the quantity of mediocre paintings shown. It is in fact a very good example of a bad display. I begin to recognise the names and the style of the main Ethiopian artists, whose work are not seen in the best light unfortunately. Even going to the Sheraton felt like coming back “home” in a way. It took me about half an hour to reach the exhibition room because I met so many people I knew on the way and stopped to chat with them. The same happened inside the exhibition room, I met a couple of the local artists I know, they were reluctantly exhibiting at the Sheraton but they still do it because of the exposure they get there, they told me….That’s Addis as I begin to understand, we go places as much to meet people as to see what’s on show.