An analogue film series by Zelalem Gizachew & Nadiah Zuur
This series of photos is a unique story about photography. It is a story about unintentional collaboration and unintentionally creating art. It is about one roll of film that brought together people, nationalities, cities, countries and continents, perspectives and personal journeys as well as the old and the new.
It is a Saturday afternoon in early February when the story begins. Two people that were complete strangers a few hours earlier are having a passionate conversation about photography over a cup of hot coffee at Tomocca in Addis.
Even though we have never met before, Zele and I immediately have a lively conversation about how they started photography and their journeys of shooting analogue. They soon realize that besides their shared passion, they both shoot with Olympus. He picked his camera up during a trip in Barcelona. I found my Olympus Trip 35 in the back of a drawer at her grandmother’s house a few months ago. At the end of the conversation he gives me a paper bag. Inside are two rolls of film.
The film rolls are the reason we met up that day. I had planned to shoot during her weekend in Addis, only to discover that I forgot my film at home... After trying a couple old photography shops in town with no luck, I DM’ed one of the photographers in Addis I followed on Instagram for help. That photographer was Aron Sime, who opened a group chat to link me up with Zele, who was generous enough to give out some of his spare film rolls.
The film goes into my Olympus trip and over the next couple of months it travels with me from Ethiopia to Kenya, Mozambique and the Netherlands. Capturing memories of family birthdays, beach holidays and vibrant streets in various cities.
It is early July, almost half a year after the coffee at Tomocca when the lady working at the photo kiosk in the middle of busy Nairobi CBD comes out of the scanning room with a disappointed look on her face. She nods her head and mumbles about double exposure.
Behind the beaches and birthdays shows another layer of images. In a mix up of film rolls an unintentional collaboration had been taking place over the past few months. The film in the paper bag was never empty. It already had a personal journey and 35 frames of memories of road trips with friends and lakeside views. Now each frame shows a minimum of two layers, turning two stories into one. Creating tiny artworks as if they are glitches in our reality.
Artists: Zelalem Gizachew (Ethiopia) & Nadiah Zuur (Netherlands)
Dates: 2018 & 2019
Locations: Ethiopia: Awassa, Addis Ababa
Kenya: Nairobi, Lake Magadi
Mozambique: Maputo, Inhambane
The Netherlands: Amsterdam, Leiden, Zutphen