Art Contemplation in the Streets of Addis


“The precise role of the artist, then, is to illuminate that darkness, blaze roads through that vast forest, so that we will not, in all our doing, lose sight of its purpose, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place.” James Baldwin

The artist creates art that resembles the hidden truth underneath everyday chaos; he makes art that interacts with the art’s character- everything. And accessible to the people. That’s what Tibebe Be Adebabay visualized to do when first launched in 2017.

The first project started with Goethe-Institut Athiopien, collaborating with several Ethiopian artists and cultural practitioners. The annual art festival aims to take art from the studios and galleries and into public space. follow up partnership with cultural and architecture centers including British Council, Italian Cultural Institutes and more.

The festival incorporates the most essential and timely themes that help the artist exploit and criticize society’s lifestyle—arousing dialogues about the context of the existing truth.
Following its successful run of the festival between 2017 and 2019, Tibebe be Adebabay is creating its fingerprint associating trendy themes like migration and now with a piece of climate change.

Due to covid -19 pandemic, the wave hit every aspect of everyday life, including art festivals, especially in 2020. The silver lining, Tibebe be Adebabay took a different approach taking it online, making it more reachable for people to interact with different artistic vibes.

Although it would be vaguely hard to measure the volume of impact the festival is set to do, it leaves the primary question of how interactive people become towards street art, its message, and understanding. Tibeb online, in addition to making art more accessible, the interaction is measurable.

In 2021, Tibebe online and Tibeb be Adebabay would merge under the theme “Art to Earth” to explore new socially and environmentally conscious engagement methods. Equipped with lessons aims to support cultural networks within Ethiopia.

The semi-public event organized by 20 artists and creative collectives from different disciplines will be held throughout the city and online, accompanied by a range of activities that complement the festival.

EUNIC Ethiopia and its partners sponsor the festiva lcollaborating with EUNIC European Union National Institutes for culture- is Europe’s network of national cultural institutes and organizations, with 36 members of all 28 EU member states.

The festival includes poetry, dance, street art, panel discussions, visual arts, music, games, animation, and more. One of the creative street art compilations shows a way of reflection on the city of Addis Ababa, public urination trend.

The creative outputs of the team make us question the deeds of our public urination in the street. The graffiti represents the art directly to the pedestrians without entrance and opening hour limitation.

For the artist, the method of the journey reflects the abstracts beyond in a disruptive, challenging, and awakening manner to the public, making art necessary and accessible to the actors engaging with it.