Anna Positano documents the changing face of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in her photo-essay “The Awakening City.” The city’s population is projected to double in the next decade, and the government is preparing by launching widespread projects for urban renewal. Currently in process, the redevelopment caters to tourists and the emerging middle class that can afford houses and cars as well as shopping and dining. Yet, many citizens of Addis Ababa still live in the slums and do not have access to clean water, health coverage, and formal education. As of now, it is unclear whether those with fewer advantages will gain from the structural overhaul or be pushed farther to the outskirts. The conflicting interests of urban development reflect in Positano’s photographs, which seem to fit as much as possible into one frame. Balancing intimate details with wideframe views, her images stir ideas of rebirth, grandeur, loss, and distance.

Via Domus