September 1 2010

Wales/Ethiopia Exhibition Launch

Double Take Photo exhibition launch

A unique photography exhibition titled ‘Double Take’ opened on the 1st September at the historic Pierhead building in Cardiff Bay, showing differences, but more importantly, the similarities between Wales and Ethiopia. The exhibition shows photographs taken by people from both the Addis Ababa and Betws communities. The participants were each given 12 themes to work around by Valley and Vale Community Arts’ photographic facilitator Alison McGann. The result is an exceptional insight into the lives of the two communities.

The project is a creative collaboration between Valley and Vale Community Arts and The Ethiopian Gemini Trust, described by Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, as “an inspiration for civil societies around the world”. The Gemini Trust works in Ethiopia to support families with twins and is currently helping 12,000 people.

The work is part of an ongoing community link between Betws and Addis Ababa, that strives to support vulnerable people is both communities. It is part of the Wales Africa Community Links programme that supports over 120 communities across Wales and Sub-Saharan Africa who are working together to reduce poverty.

The project has given community members a chance to explore and express how they see their communities.

Photographer Netsanet Tsegaw from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia said: I enjoyed seeing two cultures coming together, and seeing what’s inside us all in a unique and expressive way. Given words to interpret for our photographs, gave me a different understanding of the world and new ways of relating to others.

Anita Ile from Betws in the Garw Valley said: “I was surprised at the similarities of the photographs from the two countries. Thousands of miles apart, but we have thousands of ideas that are the same.”

The exhibition was launched by Janice Gregory AM and the celebration included the ‘Double Take’ photo exhibition, a collaborative film and a fusion of Welsh and African music performed by the Betws Community Choir.

The exhibition runs daily at The Pierhead in Cardiff Bay from 10:30 to 16:30pm until September 30th, when it will go on tour across Wales and beyond.

This project was supported and made possible by The Arts Council of Wales, Reach, The Welsh Assembly Government, The Ethiopian Gemini Trust, Valley and Vale Community Arts, WCVA and Wales Africa Community Links programme.

Wales Africa Community Links supports over 120 community partnerships between Wales and Sub-Saharan Africa. The programme supports and develops community partnerships between Welsh and African communities to enable them to work together to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The programme is managed by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action and funded by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Wales for Africa programme. www.walesafrica.org