“AAU Stories: Students Speak,” By photographer Wongel Abebe


An Ethiopian photographer Wongel Abebe captures the hope and resolve inside the country’s oldest university. Quartz Africa has reviewed her work through it’s weekly briefing as follows.

Photographer Wongel Abebe’s specifically focused her lens on Addis Ababa University, her alma mater, and the largest institution of higher learning and research in Ethiopia. Abebe’s project, dubbed “AAU Stories: Students Speak,” started as part of a research assignment that looked at the lives of students on the campus. Along with her friend Nafkot Gebeyehu, Abebe spent hours interviewing and photographing students on campus, asking them about their personal and educational experiences.

The students didn’t hold back; they spoke at length about their hopes, frustrations and resolve while studying at AAU. Some spoke about electricity outages, bad food at the campus cafeteria, tedious class registration processes, missing grades, absent teachers, dirty dormitories and poor lab facilities. Others also spoke about friendship, about making it to the capital from small towns, about the power and place of education in their lives.

The emerging picture from Abebe’s project provides a rather unique insight into Ethiopia’s oldest university.

For more on the project: QZ

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