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  • Ethiopian film goes to Uganda

    The two-hour movie starts with a scene in which armed fighters storm a village party and forcefully take away young boys to join their ranks. Those who attempt to flee are shot in cold blood and left for dead in the arms of their helpless, wailing mothers.

    Set in Ethiopia in the 1970s, and directed by Ethiopian film maker Haile Gerima, Teza or Morning Dew tells the story of the fall of their last emperor, Haile Selassie, in 1974.

    Morning Dew is one of 44 films that were featured during the first Euro-Africa Film Festival at the theatre La Bonita in Kampala last month.

    In 2008, the picture won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Festival, and in 2009 it won the best African Film at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou.

    Although Haile Selassie was in exile during the Italian invasion, he managed to get support from outside Ethiopia and eventually overthrew the colonialists. After reinstating his rule in 1941, he implemented well-intentioned economic, social and education reforms.

    However, his efforts were undermined by a growing rebellion from Eritrea and prolonged famine. In 1974, Mengistu Haile Mariam overthrew him; his death marked the beginning of a 15-year reign of terror in Ethiopia.

    Loaded with emotional scenes and nerve-wrecking violence, the film takes us through the terror under the Mengistu-led Derg, a communist military Junta that governed Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987. Mengistu became the president of the People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia from 1987 to 1991; he is currently exiled in Zimbabwe.

    The film is rich with themes of love, forgiveness, revolution, genocide, and racism in Europe against immigrants. It shows the suffering of children of mixed race, and the struggles of individuals to find their place in the country.

    We see the sufferings, confusion and frustrations of ordinary Ethiopians inside Ethiopia, and in West Germany, through the main character Anberber.

    Anberber is a young Ethiopian post graduate doctor who comes back from Germany at the peak of the Cold War under the Mengistu regime. While working in a hospital, he witnesses a number of murders — including one of his best friends, and finds himself at odds with the revolutionary fighters running the country.

    source: the eastafrican

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  • Ethiopia's Ephrem Solomon on art and politics

    Ethiopian artist Ephrem Solomon draws on his heritage, which is also Eritrean, to critique government politics across Africa.

    His work has been receiving critical acclaim both at home and abroad.

    Now for the first time he is showing his work in London and BBC Focus on Africa's Kealeboga Diseko got a sneak preview of the exhibition.

    VIDEO: Ethiopia's Ephrem Solomon on art and politics

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  • From flip-flops to rubber eye-popping masterpieces

    Ocean Sole's playful creations are sold in Kenya as well as in dozens of zoos, aquariums and stores in some 20 countries across the wold.

    If you're walking along the east African coast and chance upon a herd of brightly-striped elephants, flame-hued rhinos and a tower of crazily-colored giraffes, then don't panic, you're not hallucinating -- and neither have you stumbled on a psychedelic new species, sorry.

    No, in fact this is the vibrant kingdom of skilful artisans where harmful waste is transformed into a colorful bliss -- one flip-flop at a time.

    Ocean Sole is a Kenyan recycling company that's crafting whimsical pieces of art and fashion from discarded flip-flops and other plastic junk -- piles of rubbish that wash up on Kenya's sandy beaches.

    Read the rest of this article from CNN


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  • Hollywood's new favourite food revealed: Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Palrow are fans of teff, an iron-rich Ethiopian grain

    From kale chips to wheatgrass shots, the list of celebrity food crazes is a long one. Now there's a new source of sustenance to add to the list - an Ethiopian cereal named teff.

    Loved by Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham, the grain, which is a staple food in its home country Ethiopia, is packed with protein, calcium and iron.

    It does, however, come with a Hollywood style price tag - retailing at an eye-watering £7 for a 400g bag of flour.

    Dubbed the 'new quinoa', teff, which was used to feed animals until recently, has also found favour with foodies who point to its nutty flavour and wide range of uses.

    But although it has made inroads with the A-list, the rest of us don't appear quite so keen to follow suit with Planet Organic's Toby Watts saying people still aren't fully aware of the health benefits.

    'It has been a slow start,' he admits. 'We are often the first to offer new products so there is always a strong need to educate customers and this takes time, much the same as when we first listed quinoa and people pronounced it qui-no-a, but our customers are quick to catch on.'

    He added: 'The market for gluten-free has soared in the past couple of years, but many retailers have turned to white rice and corn as a wheat substitute.

    'What our customers are seeking are gluten-free wholegrain alternatives which offer much higher nutritional benefits and teff, like quinoa, fits the criteria.'

    Read the rest of this article at the dailymail

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  • Dust off your dancing shoes for five day jazz festival

    The fifth edition of the Acacia Jazz and World Music Festival is set to take place in various venues around Addis Ababa from February 5-9, with many artists lined up to perform during the five-day event.

    It will begin at the Alliance Ethio-Francaise with a performance by Fano, a group of musicians from Holland, Norway and Ethiopia.

    The annual event attracts musicians from all over the world, and this year includes Avshalom Duo from Israel, Subtone from Germany, Harlem Quartet from the United States and Baldachin from Austria. This festival offers different genres of music without limitation, and it is common to hear Ethiopian music blended with outside influences. 

    Fusion acts include Misto, Misto, (US, France, Ethiopia); Casey Abrams and friends (USA, Ethiopia); and Mathew Tembo and Yubal band (Zambia, Ethiopia).  

    Keeping up with the diversity and fulfilling the festival motto of catering for the interests of many groups, there is also the reggae band Imperial Majestic, featuring lead singer Sydney Salmon. Renowned singers Kuku Sebisibe, Abraham Gebremedhin and Eden Gebreselassie are  expected to be highlights, and the Ethiopian dancers Melaku Belay and aspiring group Yetemesgen Lijoch will add a different flavor.

    As per the tradition of previous events legendary singer Mahmoud Ahmed will close the festival. The first three days will see indoor events held at the Alliance Ethio Francaise, Italian Cultural Institute, German Cultural Institute and Jazzamba Lounge. 

    On the weekend of February 8-9 it will move outdoors to the Tropical gardens, where along with the music there will be a children’s playground, food tents, and bazaars, all contributing to the family-orientated atmosphere. The organizers believe the festival is growing in stature as demonstrated by the wide range of musicians from all corners of the world. 

    This event is organized by Jazzamba Entertainment and its founders the musicians Abegaz Kibrework Shiota, Henock Temesgen, and Girum Mezmur, in collaboration with Mingle Promotions.

    source: thereporterethiopia

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