Photos Showing Young People’s Lives 5 Decades Ago

Three years ago, Philipp Schütz, a Swiss publisher and photographer based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, bought two books about Uganda by Dutch photographer, Andrea Stultiens.

The photography, a selection of curated images taken by Ugandan photographers, shows people going about their lives under colonization, regime changes, and dictatorships. The project was meant to digitize and preserve Ugandan photography, which Schütz drew inspiration from. Along with photographer Wongel Abebe, who documented students at Addis Ababa University last year, and documentary photographer Nafkot Gebeyehu, they started Vintage Addis Ababa in July 2017.

The site allows Ethiopians to submit old photographs of ordinary people in Addis Ababa to a Tumblr page. At first, Schütz and Abebe wanted to sell and market the book to an international audience, but decided to target locals instead.

“For Ethiopians, the project is a lot more about identity rather than just art,” said Schütz. “We knew their participation in the archiving process and development of the project [was] crucial. Everything that grows out of this project in the future will be influenced by this crowd sourcing approach.” Ethiopia photos of Addis Ababa show young people’s lives 50 years ago — Quartz


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