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Wed, 08.21.1974

Aïda Muluneh, Photographer born.

Aïda Muluneh

*The birth of Aïda Muluneh is celebrated on this date in 1974. She is a Black African photographer and contemporary visual artist.

Muluneh was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She spent her childhood in Cyprus, Greece, the U.K., and Yemen before settling in Canada in 1985. As a teenager, Muluneh attended Western Canada High School in Alberta, Canada. While there, she was on the school's basketball team and aspired to become a basketball player. She also thought of becoming a lawyer or a similarly prestigious profession.

These plans took an unexpected turn when her art teacher opened a disused darkroom for his students and gave her a camera to use. Although Muluneh began shooting photographs in high school, she did not imagine it as a career until her grandfather, who lived in Ethiopia, visited her family. He had served in the Ethiopian Air Force and enjoyed painting in his spare time. He saw something in her work and told her to continue to work as an artist rather than putting off her passion as a hobby.

She received her B.A. in film, radio, and television from Howard University in 2000. After her studies, she worked as a photojournalist at the Washington Post, and since then, her work has been shown in several publications. She has since returned to Ethiopia, based in Addis Ababa. She does commercial work, fine art photography, and photojournalism in Addis Ababa and elsewhere. Muluneh won the European Union Prize at African Photography Encounters and the CRAF International Award of Photography. In 2020, she was awarded the Photographic Curatorship of the Royal Photographic Society.

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