The Black Lions Organization
With misleading information constantly conveyed to the public through mainstream media, many individuals have adopted a misconstrued perception of what Africa (namely, Ethiopia) truly is like. Meraf Berhanu, a young Ethiopian American from Dallas, Texas, took it upon herself to capture the true essence of Ethiopian life and culture by traveling to Ethiopia for three months with her mother and photographically documenting the experience.
She visited a multitude of different cities and regions in Ethiopia, allowing her to take powerful, heartfelt photos of places like Tserkane Mariyam, Gonder, Weleka, Aksum, Lalibela, Abune Aron, Hawassa, Ziway, and Shashemane as well as photos of individuals from the local communities. Upon her return to America, she arranged for her art to be showcased at a local Ethiopian restaurant known as Desta and has captured the attention of the Ethiopian community in Dallas, attracting a large audience on the opening night of her exhibit. She was kind enough to provide us with an insight as to what she thought about this exciting opportunity and experience. The following is what she had to say:
“I didn’t have a lot of surprises because I’m aware of the culture and living style in Ethiopia. What really made my experience unique, though, was the way I traveled. My mom and I went everywhere together and anywhere we went, we traveled as if we lived there. For example, going from Gonder to Lalibela. We took a minivan to Gishane and from there caught a bus to Lalibela. Because there is limited transportation, we had to take the first opportunity; therefore, we stood the whole 45 minutes to Lalibela on a rocky road. These kinds of experiences helped me understand how it is to travel for the majority of people in the country.”
We highly encourage our readers from the Dallas/Fort Worth area to go and experience first-hand the organic authenticity illustrated through Meraf’s showcase and the beauty of Ethiopia rarely shown in the media.
The exhibit will be open at 6pm every day until Tuesday, May 27th at Desta Restaurant located at 12101 Greenville Ave Ste 105 Dallas, TX 75243 and it’s free to the viewing public. You will also be able to purchase her artwork so bring money if you’re interested in taking an authentic piece of Ethiopia home with you.