Culture Leads the Way in Ethiopia

eth lördag 10 november 2018 / / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One year has passed since Selam’s project in Ethiopia, with activities in Addis Abeba and the regions of Oromia, Amhara, SNNPR and Tigray, was initiated. It has been an eventful year with many political developments in the country, as well as ambitious project activities led by Selam’s organization and partners in Ethiopia, whom in many ways have seeked to capture contemporary changes and make use of the increasingly open social climate. Below are some examples of what Selam Ethiopia, together with its implementing partners, have focused on just during the last few months.

”Selam Culture Forums: Creating the Platform for Culture Expression”

In the month of August, two large culture forums were conducted in the cities of Mekelle and Bahir Dar with the common focus on increasing dialogue and exchange of ideas to contribute to the development of the Ethiopian culture sector. Key to the conversations were the value of international exchange to promote innovative thinking and to make use of experiences within common challenges and developments for culture sectors and culture actors across nation borders.

In Mekelle, the forum was organized together with Rahel Art Gallery, one of the projects’ partners. Here, the forum made use of the ongoing celebration of the “Ashenda festival”, a holiday focusing on young girls and women. This thematic also lead the way for panel discussions that highlighted a variety of perspectives on gender equality and women’s rights, as well as on how culture is able to play a crucial role within these issues – and therefore should be further strengthened.

In Bahir Dar, the forum was conducted together with Amhara Culture and Tourism Bureau and Mulualem Culture Center, also regional partners to the project. Here, the focus of the forum was aimed towards the following four topics, each of which were debated by an expert panel: Female artists’ roles and challenges within the culture sector; the strengthening of social interaction via cultural expression forms; the potential of Bahir Dar city as a host of festivals; and media’s role within the culture sector.

”Selam Capacity Building Initiatives: Sound Engineering”

Parallel to the Selam Cultural Forums, Selam also conducted sound engineering workshops in Bahir Dar and Addis Abeba. The education was led by an external expert from Kenya, who during a couple of days introduced basic sound engineering theory and praxis for approximately thirty young participating enthusiasts. Most of the participants represented in-house staff of theatre venues and culture centers located in Bahir Dar and Addis Abeba, whom had a common interest towards enhancing their technical skills as well as the quality of the productions and other activities that they worked with.

”Selam Culture Forum: Ethiopian Film Policy Implementation”

In October, Selam Ethiopia organized a forum in Addis Abeba with a focus on Ethiopia’s newly revised film policy and different perspectives on its’ followed implementation process in a best manner to contribute to the Ethiopian film sector and its practitioners. Local stakeholders, organizations and decision-makers participated in conversations and Mr. Fidelis Duker was invited as an external international expert and key note speaker. Mr. Duker is a prominent and leading actor within “Nollywood”, Nigeria’s well established and consistently blooming film industry. He was invited to share his experiences within both policy work and film production, two areas within which he has great knowledge. During his stay in Addis Abeba, Mr. Duker also conducted several separate meetings together with Selam Ethiopia and other stakeholders such as the Ethiopian Film Association. Organized by Selam Ethiopia, a small selection of actors was also invited to a unique workshop in film production led by Mr. Duker.

Apart from these few examples, Selam Ethiopia runs daily activities and initiatives on a regional level in Ethiopia within the areas of music, film, circus and media. The overlying purpose of the “Culture Leads the Way” project is to uplift and promote culture’s role for positive social development, to promote professionalism within the culture sector as well as contemporary and progressive dialogues within Ethiopian cultural policies. Within the next few months, Selam Ethiopia will apart from several additional “Culture Forums” also organize a festival and Bahir Dar and many other activities.

Follow our daily activities in Ethiopia via Facebook

Culture Leads the Way is a three year project realized through the support of Sida (the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency).

previous news itemnext news item