Ethiopian photographer Girma Berta’s ‘Moving Shadows I + II’ is a project documenting the people of Addis Ababa. Berta, who is self-taught, uses a combination of street photography and graphic design to create images of passers-by with a painterly quality.
The photographer captures his subjects going about their day on his iPhone. He then isolates them from their context, layering them against block-color backgrounds. This effect removes any visual distractions from the subject, and brings a collage-art quality to his work. The figures in Berta’s images are often working or en route somewhere alone, carrying bags and bundles. This speaks to the photographer’s desire to show the people he notices just as they are, without any bells and whistles. Berta’s production of work on an iPhone is symbolic of the larger demographic of African artists who are taking part in the current digital art revolution.