ifa Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany 13 Jan 2017 - 02 Apr 2017
Johannes Haile, Berlin, 1962. Photo. Courtesy of the ifa Gallery Berlin/Stuttgart
The exhibition With Different Eyes, sponsored by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) reveals, for the first time in Germany, the perspective of Johannes Haile (1927-2016) during his visit of West and East Germany in 1962.
Haile was one of the first Ethiopians to study photography in the United States. He acted as the official photographer of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). In 1962, he was commissioned by the German Embassy in Ethiopia to capture images of postwar Germany during its industrial comeback. During his seven-week journey he visited East and West Berlin, the VW assembly lines in Wolfsburg, Munich and the Oktoberfest, the wine-growing town of Rüdesheim as well as many other places.
The curator Meskerem Assegued, founder of the Zoma Contemporary Art Center (ZCAC) in Addis Ababa, conceived the exhibition dedicated to this historical moment. In the beginning of the sixties, when the world was experiencing decolonization, communism, civil right movements, Kennedy’s assassination, and the hippie movement, Haile was documenting the behavior of common people and the rituals of daily lives. He approached people from various professions, narrating the different urban and rural realities of Germany, documenting deep insights into their everyday lives. Johannes Haile, with his singular ability to look beyond cultural differences, managed to create a sense of togetherness as he shared the individual stories of the people he encountered.
Read the interview with curator Meskerem Asseguedhere