The Anglo-Ethiopian Society
German Photo Exhibitions
Author - Anne Parsons
The second International Littmann Conference, which had as its focus the celebration of the centenary of the Deutsche Aksum Expedition of 1906, took place in Aksum in January. To coincide with the conference two exhibitions were mounted in the local Abreha Atseba school. The first was an historical photographic exhibition entitled 'Ethiopia and Germany: 100 years diplomatic relations' (the posters on the wall in the photographs). It was shown in Addis before Aksum and will eventually go on tour to various venues throughout Ethiopia. A comprehensive and lavishly illustrated catalogue (in German, English and Amharic) with several hundred mostly unpublished historical photos from German collections provided a fascinating insight into another European country's view of Ethiopia. The second exhibition in the school showed copies of photographs taken in 1906 by Theodor von Lüpke for the Deutsche Aksum Expedition (shown in frames on the benches). This exhibition had previously toured in Germany in 2005. A small illustrated brochure in German was for sale and a photocopied Amharic version of the text was available free of charge.
After the opening ceremony pupils from the school came to see the exhibitions and appeared to listen very attentively to the teachers and guides accompanying them. They obviously took great delight in inspecting the photographs of their town as it had been a century ago. I was impressed by their good behaviour and enthusiasm and eagerness to learn, qualities not always seen in UK children!