The Guzo Project; Ethiopian Pilgrimage Photography Series In Paris

By Dawit Tibebu

Traveling is inscribed almost in every bucket list everyone keeps. It’s a way of moving on and at the same time a way of drawing back, teleporting, past to forth. Traveling is an escape and also an endeavor towards finding belongingness. Yet not all of us get to marvel around, not all of us get to leave to live and so we follow travel junkie blogs, depictions and what not to feel closer to our desire. We might not be able to go to all the places we hope to visit, to the society of ethos and time lapses, but recently, we reckoned a means of bringing all those to us. The folk, deep-rooted, humanity capsule. That is the GUZO project.

The GUZO Project is created by the young photography devotee Dawit Tibebu with a severe and profound perspective marque. As the name itself suggests, Guzo means Travel, and so that’s what Dawit did. He traveled around realms along other photographers to tell a story. A story we commonly fail to notice. Not only were they out and about to preserve threatened legacies, heritages but also turning the spot light the part of our society we think we know about. Going through all the pictures covering lands, people, holidays and daily lives, the project allows viewers to travel along, to be present at the captured moments and at the very place with the people.

GUZO165, is a travel book written and published by Travel Writer and Photographer Dawit Tibebu and featuring images of young Ethiopian photographers who are passionate about their homeland. The book narrates about a destination 165kms far from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and its surrounding natural area. It is produced by traveling to the sites, studying them, documenting them through high-quality digital technologies and publishing them so that they can inform, inspire and motivate readers to learn about the treasures. In this way, the places can get more visitors, which will contribute to their preservation.

The travel book portrays and promotes the rich history, nature, and treasures of Ziway, it Informs related organizations to preserve and protect the resources and treasures, Helps the native people of the country to be aware of their own country, develop the domestic tourism experience and the sustainable tourism industry Informing investors many valuable tourist attractions to invest on them so that the Ethiopian culture will be developed in a modern way and can also pass from generation to generation.

After all the hard work they have been putting out, they now have secured a means of sharing their work with the rest of the world. Ethiopian Pilgrimage Photography series exhibition opened on July 17th and will remain until 21st for the international community at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris where the team gets to showcase their journey through photography and represent those they have come to cross paths with. The exhibition is hosted by the Permanent Delegation of Ethiopia to UNESCO, Erken Communications, and The GUZO Project. H.E. Mr. Nega Tsegaye, Ethiopian bilateral Ambassador to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO opened the ceremony. He also took this opportunity to thank all the Committee Members for the removal of Siemen National Park from the endangered list of World Heritage. Mr. Michael Words, Chairperson of the UNESCO Executive Board and the Assistant Director-General for Africa, Mr. Edouard Firmin Matoko were amongst the distinguished guests present at this ceremony.

Here is what Dawit Tibebu has to say:

“This is Dawit Tibebu, the founder of The GUZO Project. I am sorry I didn’t make it to Paris from Ethiopia. I am recovering from an emergency heart case and my Doctor didn’t approve my travel. I would have loved to be there celebrating this milestone. When I found The GUZO Project, I aim in preserving endangered history, culture, and treasures of Ethiopia and I selectively published these destinations and push forward in getting them recognition. After months of hard work, we are very honored to be recognized by the world’s biggest cultural organization, UNESCO in the headquarters. It sounds like we are at the right place in carrying out our message. Ethiopia leads Africa in registering world heritage sites and intangible treasures. I am very thankful for UNESCO for all the recognition and preservation of our most valued identities. And I am also proud to announce Ethiopia has a lot more potential sites, properties and intangible treasures that deserve recognition and immediate preservation as they are endangered and soon to be forgotten. Please have my current travel book, GUZO165, where I have published a destination with an 1162 year’s history, splendid natural phenomena and valuable treasures yet unknown to the many, endangered and seeking immediate attention. I vision in making Ziway as one of the upcoming shortlisted destination in UNESCO’s listing and I will give what it takes to make this happen. In this event, I have started a new photography campaign under The GUZO Project in which I tell Ethiopian Pilgrimage’s adventurous stories. Impossible to many people around the world, Ethiopian Orthodox followers travel for days by foot to churches and monasteries to attend annual religious ceremonies and praise God. These believers are amongst the first in the world by their dedication in expressing their faith to the Lord. I traveled to some of the ceremonies and documented, please enjoy series I of this collection on the photographs hanged beautifully on the walls. I want to thank God for always giving me things I dream of. I will always strive to place your name in greatness. Secondly, my gratitude goes to UNESCO, the Permanent Delegation of Ethiopia to UNESCO, Embassy of Ethiopia in France, Menilik Restaurant in Paris, and Ethiopian Airlines for believing in our work, represent us and made this happen together with us. Please make a round of applause for my closest friend and partner Behailu Dereje from Erken Communications for being with me all the way from the start and also to be in Paris alone to make this a reality. Without you, this wouldn’t have been possible and I am super grateful you are there fixing all the issues behind and making our vision a reality. I want to thank my family for having been being on my side through the best and worst. You all are true gifts of God. I love you all so much.”











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