On paves, tortuos and uphill roads, or unpaved and dusty ones, under scorching sun, with mud under their feet, I met young and old women. Dorze, Sidama, Karo, Konso, Dawro, Hamer women. Women from some of the tribes of south Ethiopia. Diverse costumes, traditions, religions characterize these ethnic groups.
They all share the same strength, which makes them all, indistinctly, respond to the greetings of tourists, or, as more often occurs, to be themselves the first to smile, despite the struggle with heavy bundles of wood or yellow tanks of water that they carry the whole way home.
L’africa cammina coi piedi delle donne.
Women are the backbone of Africa.
L’Afrique avance grâce aux pas de ses femmes.
Whatever language you want to use, the concept is the same, and it’s tangible as soon as you reach Ethiopia. Women are humble yet unquestioned protagonists of Ethiopian society, engaged in the housekeeping, child care, economy, and building a country still largely narrow-minded and strongly attached to traditions ruling out any rights for women.
Q&A with Marianna Ciuffreda
It gives me the opportunity to step into unknown realities and absorb a small part of them.
Photography and writing…
Photography is writing. Sometimes words are necessary to describe that would be lost with the photography alone at the design stage, I always carry a notebook with me where I jot down dates, names and sensations of the moment that I will need in the final editing.
Who left the biggest impression on you?
Diane Arbus, William Klein, Luigi Ghirri, Jessica Dimmock and Fausto Podavini, maestro and friend.
Marianna Ciuffreda (www.mariannaciuffreda.com) Italy, 1981. “My interest for photography developed five years ago, when I received a Holga camera as a christmas gift. since then, I never stopped watching the eyepiece, which for me is like a 28mm keyhole. my field of interest are social documentary and reportage photography. I prefer long-term projects that allow me to get in touch with people in a deeper way. the human presence is very important to me, whether in the present, past, or the future. I want to tell stories about women, and Women are the backbone of Ethiopia is a beginning.”