The Members Gallery

Susan M. Lewinnek, Harar Street Scene, 2014

Susan M. Lewinnek

Ethiopia: Two Visits in Three Directions

February 15—March 15, 2015

Opening reception:
Sunday March 8, 1—3pm

ARTIST STATEMENT (February 2015)

Photography has been a part of my life since I was about four years old.

My brother, ten years my senior, secluded himself in a darkroom in the basement of our house. I spent many hours keeping him company in this mysterious place, where I peered at the strange reversed negative images and watched the magic of a print emerge from its watery bath. My first camera, which I used at the age of six to capture for posterity life at overnight camp, was a Kodak Brownie.

In my adult years, I have combined my passion for photography with my passion for travel and contact with people of other cultures. Some of these photographs were taken during the preparations for and celebration of a Harari* wedding in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in June 2013. I was invited as the U.S. Mom of an Ethiopian student attending college here and graciously permitted to photograph the days of preparations preceding her sister’s wedding. The others, consisting of portraits and street scenes, were taken during my travels following the wedding and a second trip in January 2014.

*Founded between the 7th and 11th century and now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Harar became the center of Islamic culture and religion in the Horn of Africa.