Britsh museum offers Ethiopia to return looted treasures on long-term loan

UK offers to return Ethiopian loot on loan

UK offers to return Ethiopian loot on loan

The UK’s Victoria and Albert Museum has offered to return on loan treasures to Ethiopia seized by British troops 150 years ago, including an ornate crown, a royal wedding dress and a gold chalice.

The overture came as some of the objects go on display until June 2019 at the museum in London to mark the anniversary of the Maqdala battle in 1868.

Historians say 15 elephants and 200 mules were needed to cart away all the loot from Maqdala, Emperor Tewodros II’s northern citadel capital.

Ethiopia lodged a formal request in 2008 at various British institutions for the return of the treasures worth millions of dollars taken from Maqdala.

V&A director Tristram Hunt has reiterated that the items would remain the property of the museum but said they could be sent back home on “long-term loan”.

Read more at BBC

Ethiopian artist talks past, present, future of Ethiopia

Ethiopian photographer talks past, present, future of Ethiopia

Ethiopian photographer talks past, present, future of Ethiopia
Aida Muluneh talks to the audience about her early years, discovery of photography and the meaning of her work in Matthews Hall on Friday.
Anna Poznyak | Senior Photographer

Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno” inspired the photo that brought Ethiopian photographer Aida Muluneh to the forefront of the photography world.

The photo features a model staring straight at the camera, arms folded around herself. Her skin is painted completely white barring a vertical line of black dots down the center of her body and hands dyed blood-red.

“I come from a very orthodox religion, you know,” Muluneh said. “It’s basically the notion that you die and either go to heaven or hell. And my main thing was that the inferno’s actually, we’re living inside of it. So for me you don’t have to die to find the inferno. You can find it within yourself, you can find paradise within yourself.”


US Embassy Kicks Off Film Competition


The U.S. Embassy is excited to announce this year’s video competition under the theme “Our Ethiopia.” The video challenge is part of the U.S. Embassy’s ongoing efforts to highlight the importance of tolerance and diversity through open and constructive communication.

In a globalized world, tolerance is important for creating a society in which people feel valued and respected, and in which there is room for every person, each with their own ideas and dreams. This video challenge is intended to promote these values.

Open to all Ethiopians, the video challenge asks filmmakers to create a video of up to three minutes about the strength in Ethiopia’s diversity, the challenges it faces, and what everyone can do to support tolerance and mutual respect.

The first place winner will receive a prize valued at ETB 80,000; the second place winner will receive a prize valued at ETB 50,000; and the third place winner will receive a prize valued at ETB 30,000.

The deadline for submission of videos is midnight on February 18, 2018. Interested contestants can submit their video either by uploading to YouTube or sending to the U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Section (OurEthiopia Video Challenge), P.O. Box 1014 in a CD or DVD. The video submission can be uploaded in any format accepted by YouTube and after uploading the hashtagged video, send a link to your video submission to

All videos must be done in the Amharic language with English sub-titles. The Embassy reserves the right to reject any video that discriminates against any religious, ethnic, or cultural values or any gender or persons with disability.

You can find the details of the competition through the link: .

Source: U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia

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Ethiopian artist uses talent to promote environmental conservation

As Ethiopia battles the effects of climate change, a local artist is using her work to show how human activities are destroying the environment. The country’s forests have become severely depleted, through people cutting down trees for firewood, farming and other commercial activities. Coletta Wanjohi reports…

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Asgegnew Ashko: Mixing Traditional Sounds with Modern Vibes

Asgegnew Ashko: Mixing Traditional Sounds with Modern Vibes

He always has a bright smile on his face that lights up the ambiance; the same goes for his songs. Asgegnew Ashko is currently one of the most favorite artists in Ethiopia. And now, Asge is featured on the fifth season of Coke Studio Africa.

Asgegnew expressed his excitement to be on Coke Studio Africa on a press conference at Stanely hotel, Nairobi this August. Speaking at the conference on being one of the Ethiopian artists participating in this year’s Coke Studio Africa and the contribution of the platform for the growth and exposure of African music in general Asge said, “Since my childhood, the music industry has been dominated by music from the western world and I used to be jealous of those artists. But now we are at a very good time.

African music is being heard and appreciated globally. I’m also grateful that I have grown to be part of that; I have crossed one border with Coke Studio Africa, bringing my country’s music and flavors from Ethiopia to Kenya. And this stage is going to take me to the rest of Africa and the world, I’m very happy about this”.

Coca-Cola brand manager in Ethiopia Tigist Getu says, “In the first three episodes of Coke Studio Africa 2017, we have witnessed the colorful New Year song by this season’s Ethiopian Coke Studio Africa artists, Dawit Nega’s journey to Coke Studio Africa, Sami Dan firing up the stage with his dancehall performance and Betty G putting tears in the eyes of Tanzanian artist Nandy with her phenomenal cover performance” Tigist said. Adding, “we expect Asge’s collaboration with Sheebah to be the same; big and euphoric. We invite everyone to enjoy it”.

This week’s headline artists, Kenyan rap king Nyashinski and South African super group Mafikizolo join up to discover more about each other’s music and create something special while DRC-born South African resident Tresor, and Cameroon’s multi-talented Locko, have some fun with the Coke Studio Africa Throwback.

Ugandan dancehall dominator Sheebah and our very own Asge also join up to discover more about each other’s music and create something awesome. Speaking on his collaboration with Sheebah on big break episode Asge said they’ve made amazing music adding that everyone should anticipate great collaboration. The two artists will also be working with Future star Tanzanian rapper Bill Nass in music collaborations that will be produced by Gemini Major – an acclaimed music producer.

Coke Studio Africa is a non-competitive music collaboration show, which seeks to bring people together and celebrate the diversity of African music and talent. It also gives upcoming artists the opportunity to work with some of the best local and international music and production talents. It brings together artists from different genres, eras and regions to create a modern and authentic African sound through musical fusion.

Source; Capitalethiopia

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Experimental & Bold: Interview with Ethiopian Dancer Melaku Belay from Fendika

Of the numerous traditional Ethiopian dancers that have graced stages in the past decades, Melaku Belay stands out as one. His unique style of dancing, which has added to the various regional dances enjoyed by Ethiopians at large, has brought both local and international audiences to him in particular, and the country’s culture in general.

Beginning his career at Fendika Azmari Bet, where elaborate dances are performed every night, he has worked his way to fame but stayed with the establishment for almost 20 years. A decade later, he formed his own band Fendika, with which he toured around the world, including the United States, France, Spain, and Norway.

He is self-taught and experimental as he likes to do fusion of various moves. To his credit, Melaku has never flinched from teaching others the craft of his art. In 2006, he started offering dance lessons to students at the Alliance-Ethio Francaise. He sees culture as something that can evolve, and as such could be adapted by the contemporary generation too.

Innovative ideas can come from all sorts of places, and Melaku never shies away from experimenting. He has worked on occasion with jazz bands like Nubian Park and Acoustic Project, in his bid to nurture talent and diversify the art’s fan base. SAMSON BERHANE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, sat down with him to pick on his brain. YOU CAN READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE.

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Zekarias Tibebu Mesfin continues to make waves with his film

Ethiopian filmmaker Zekarias Tibebu wins TAFF 2017 Best Emerging Filmmaker for his film “EWIR AMORA KELABI”, a true story on his life as an Ethiopian refugee.

Based on a true story, this film chronicles the life of Major Tibebu Mesfin, who worked for the Dergue Regime in Ethiopia. During this time of ideological struggle and infighting among the regime’s leadership, Tibebu disappears and his wife is captured, imprisoned, and tortured. Years later, fueled by a deep-seated desire to help his ailing mother, Tibebu’s son leaves the town of Gonder to search for work. The result is an unpredictable adventure, the story of how far one man will go to fulfill his destiny, and a tale for the ages about the resilience of the human spirit.

VOA interview with Ethiopian Ethiopian filmmaker Zekarias Tibebu

Ewir Amora Kelabi by Ethiopian filmmaker Zekarias Tibebu Mesfin

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