Mahesh Shantaram’s Addis Ababa Diary

Images of Ethiopia by Indian photographer Mahesh Shantaram

Image by Mahesh Shantaram.

A while back we featured a random photograph of Indian photographer Mahesh Shantaram (I think Achal Prabhala got me onto Mahesh’s work). Email contact led to me asking him if we could post some of his “Addis Ababa Diary” series on AIAC. Shantaram, who also works as a wedding photographer from his base in Bangalore, explained what led him to photograph in the Ethiopian capital:

Much of my work is personal, experiential, and purely subjective. There is no urgent story that needs telling and the only truth in it is what I make up along the way. My trip to Addis Ababa was motivated by a simple desire to go some place about which I had very little knowledge and start the process of discovery from virtually zero. This series of street photographs is the result of my quest for the colour of Africa. People (who think Africa is a Country) ask me, “Why Ethiopia?!” Just before Christmas time in 2011, my wife used to live in Madrid and I was busy shooting all over India. We decided to meet at some place mid-way. A quick look at the world map suggested that Ethiopia was that place, and how fortuitous it was that Indians are welcomed with visa-on-arrival. That’s always a game changer. And so shortly thereafter, we landed at Bole International Airport without any plan other than to let one thing lead to another.

You can click through the whole Addis Ababa series here.

Further Reading

Between two evils

After losing its parliamentary majority for the first time, the African National Congress is scrambling to form a coalition government. The options are bleak.

Heeding the call

At the 31st New York African Film Festival, young filmmakers set the stage with adventurous and varied experiments in African cinema.