Ayaana Media + Publishing - Portfolio 2020
stories that value culture, educate, and inspire
media & publishing
clients and partners
Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft Confédération suisse Confederazione Svizzera Confederaziun svizra
Embassy of Switzerland in Ethiopia
Ayaana Media & Publishing is an Ethiopian social enterprise committed to literature and art in the Horn of Africa. Since 2012, we have focused our work on two main passions: the beauty of Ethiopia and local languages. We have over nine years experience in film, photography, design, and translation, with online and physical publications in Somali, Oromo, and English. Our staff of local and international media experts partners with clients and the local community to tell stories that value culture, educate, and inspire.
Besides initiating our own projects, we collaborate with a wide range of international and local clients.
We thrive at the intersection of visual documentary, culture, arts, literature, and narratives.
rose consultancy plc
Photography Video Creative direction Editorial design
Publishing (online and print) Content production Social media management Translations in various local languages
On the following pages we present to you an overview of our work. If you are interested in working with us, we would love to hear from you.
Ayaana Publishing Plc. Addis Ababa & Dire Dawa Ethiopia
Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology
firstname.lastname@example.org www.ayaana.net +251 911 78 26 85
Press photograph for Feven Joseph, a singer from Dessie. She recorded her first solo album Chanting Soul in Addis Ababa and blends traditional Ethiopian music with jazz, reggae, soul and R&B. She wants to use her voice to promote openness, spirituality, and progress in her motherland.
An orange picker at the Haramaya University Farm in Dire Dawa.
Vétérinaires Sans Frontières
VSF commissioned us to tell the story of pastoralists and the issues they face, while highlighting the unique lifestyle their surroundings demand. We followed Faduuma, Abdi, and their families in their transition from the traditional pastoralist life they knew to becoming agro-pastoralists.
Scan QR code to watch the video, or visit ayaana.net/vsf
Our office in Dire Dawa with its Somali staff regularly takes on documentary assignments in the Somali region.
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Volcafe Select is the specialty coffee program of the multinational coffee trader Volcafe Ltd. Volcafe Select uses innovative solutions to supply roasters across the world with traceable, high-quality coffee. We produced a stock archive of coffee origin photos from Southern Ethiopia for them to use across social media platforms, at fairs and in publications. We also write some their coffee-related content from across the world and design infographics for their annual catalogue, which we design, edit, and produce.
See more work on ayaana.net/volcafe
J U L Y
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vintage addis ababa
Recollections of everyday people
Vintage Addis Ababa, launched in July 2017, is a documentary and fine art project that crowdsources old photographs from the public to tell stories of everyday people in the past. We started this initiative to preserve for future generations personal images that are fragile and prone to damage and loss. By the end of 2018 more than 2,000 photographs by 100 contributors in Addis Ababa and across the vast Ethiopian diaspora had been digitized. We used social media to publish and source the photographs, reaching tens of thousands of Ethiopians in Addis Ababa and beyond.
In November 2018 we published a photography book with over 200 of these familiar photos and many stories. The book was launched in Addis Ababa with a grand exhibition, and we also organized book launches in North American and across Europe. More than 1,000 copies of the book were sold in the first year.
Vintage Addis Ababa was funded by the Embassy of Switzerland, the European Union, Alliance Ethio-Française, and the Embassy of France. The project was featured on the Guardian, the BBC, Quartz, and other international news outlets.
Vintage Addis Ababa was a collaborative effort between Ayaana Publishing and two young Ethiopian writers and media producers, Wongel Abebe and Nafkot Gebeyehu.
Scan QR code to watch the project video. Visit ayaana.net/vintageaddis or vintageaddis.com for more information. Contact us to purchase the book.
The wedding of Senait Mekbib and Nisahn Mekuria at Kidist Selassie (Holy Trinity Cathedral). Senait submitted these photographs of her first wedding in 1976 to Vintage Addis Ababa. Nishan died in the Ethiopian civil war four months after the photos were taken. Senait eventually remarried.
Promoting Somali literature
Through Dhugasho our aim is to preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of Somali literature and poetry and inspire a new generation of Somali poets and artists. More than just an online publication, Dhugasho is a vital social project run for and by Somalis. It serves as a tool to educate and transform modern Somali communities in the Horn of Africa. With hundreds of thousands of views a month, dhugasho.com has become a well-known site for Somalis to access a variety of content—literature, poetry, history, and proverbs in the Somali language.
Oral history and stories, poetry, and proverbs have defined the Somali political and social culture for over a millennia. Dhugasho readers are mostly located in the Horn of Africa, which includes the Somali Region of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, and Somaliland.
Partnerships with organizations like the Swiss Development Corporation has allowed Dhugasho to host poetry workshops in various Somali cities, as well as a dinner and cultural night to honor the new administration and NGOs working in the Somali Region.
Find out more about Dhugasho on ayaana.net/dhugasho
Oromo online publication
Siifsiin is our Oromo language magazine, which was in circulation for six years with a combined print run of 120,000 magazines. Recently, Ayaana has shifted from print to online publications. With the wide reach and growing accessibility of the internet, siifsiin.com reaches tens of thousands of readers every month with a variety of content, from poetry and proverbs to history and current events.
Are you an NGO working in Oromia or a company interested in reaching the Oromo population? Contact us to publish content and ads.
The Harenna Forest is one of the last remaining natural forests in Ethiopia. Found in the Bale Mountains National Park, this high-altitude forest is one of four eco-regions within the national park and home to a number of endemic species. This is one of several images that will be featured in our upcoming photography book on the Bale Mountains.
Somali stories from the Horn of Africa
Modern Nomads is home to interesting narratives, photo stories, essays, and interviews that document the Somali way of life. There are few nomadic societies that have been catapulted into the twenty-first century as dramatically as the Somali people. We want to capture a cultural heritage that is in the process of being lost forever and help the Somali people remember and treasure their past. At the same time, we are hoping to document the amazing changes that are happening within Somali culture and to catch a glimpse of the new rich and diverse society that is emerging out of the ashes of a long civil war.
Simien Mountains National Park book
Simiens is the first photography book about the vast and breathtaking Simien Mountains in northern Ethiopia. The publication, tailored for adventurers and lovers of Ethiopia, features travel photos of the landscape and its occupants, accompanied by short stories that add a compelling dimension to an exploration of life in this UNESCO-listed park.
We are currently working on a second edition of the book.Find out more on ayaana.net/simiens
Find out more on ayaana.net/modernnomads
Somali women construct an Aqaal (traditional house) for the Ugass (king) of the Issa clan's wedding ceremony. The bride and groom will spend their first seven days in this house as a married couple. The tree planted in the middle of the Aqaal will symbolize their marriage after the house is removed. This photograph was taken as part of an ongoing video and photo graphy project to preserve the Somali way of life.
Zewdu Tasew (56) making his way up to Bwahit Pass (4,200 meters above sea level) in the Simien Mountains. This photograph is included in the book Simiens.
Nestlé Nespresso S.A.
Nespresso launched a campaign celebrating their female agronomists in Ethiopia. These women train farmers to improve the quality of their coffee.
Ayaana contributed portraits and documentary photos that show the women at work and in private to give a glimpse of their everyday lives.
Nespresso produced social media posts, in-store posters, and video content highlighting the difference that these women make to coffee quality and the community around them. We love campaigns that include the producers of local products, and we enjoyed photographing some of the many Ethiopians that work in coffee across the value chain.
This is one of three projects we have done for Nespresso in collaboration with their agency J. Walter Thompson.
See more on ayaana.net/nespresso
Plan International UK
Plan International UK's Childhood Disrupted: Stories of Survival and Hope from Children in Conflict was designed to show the bravery, strength, and resilience of the children who fled South Sudan with their families and now live in refugee camps in Gambella. We worked closely with Plan's communication team to produce the images for the exhibition, which was put on in Edinburgh at the end of May 2019.
See more images on ayaana.net/plan
Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation
Helvetas wanted to tell the story of their employment initiatives in Bahir Dar, where they are implementing marketdemanded skills training and the innovative approach of results-based financing. Our film documents the story of 23-year-old Yeshimebet Gashaw and others who gained valuable skills and employment through these programs.
Scan QR code to watch the video or visit ayaana.net/helvetas
We have worked with Helvetas for a number of years, producing brochures and gathering stories for their international communications team.
Embassy of Switzerland in Ethiopia
The Embassy of Switzerland in Ethiopia recently commissioned us for two consulting and content production projects. To assist their effort in engaging the local community through social media, we produced content for their Facebook page and helped with strategic audience development. Additionally, to commemorate the new Ethiopian Airlines direct link between Geneva and Addis Ababa, we produced the photography series Geneva Meets Addis. The series highlights the commonalities of the two cities and portrays notable individuals in the two diplomatic hubs.
See more photos on ayaana.net/swissembassy
Center for Creative Leadership
We love The Center for Creative Leadership's mission to use their 40+ years of research to grow leaders across the world, and we are fortunate enough to work with one of their twelve global offices on a regular basis. After getting to know CCL, we discovered that not only did they have great stories from their work in the Horn of Africa, but they have great stories from within their organization. To date we have done several short documentary films as well as built up an image library to use in their proposals, advertising, and social media.
Scan QR code to watch the video or visit ayaana.net/ccl to see more of our photographs and videos for CCL.
Follow @ayaanaethiopia and see our work on ayaana.net
media & publishing
Addis Ababa & Dire Dawa