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We have been archiving old photographs (1.5k so far) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and are now turning them into a photo book!
We have been archiving old photographs (1.5k so far) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and are now turning them into a photo book!
349 backers pledged CHF 35,208 to help bring this project to life.
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Vintage Addis Ababa – the photo book

CHF 35,208

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Vintage Addis Ababa is a crowd-sourced digital archive that gathers old photographs from private collections to create visual memories of the city’s past. By preserving photographs from locals, the project aims to tell the stories of everyday people from the past, people that are not mentioned in history books.

So far we’ve collected and scanned over 1,500 photos. We have also worked to capture the stories behind them. These unseen photos which Vintage Addis Ababa has curated bring to light a rich and varied perspective of history. After reaching hundreds of thousands of people online through social media we’re now turning the project into a photo book.  

We believe a high-quality photography book is a good way to do justice to the photos and stories behind them. We are working on a high-end product while maintaining the overall personal and intimate look. The book will feature the photos with their rough edges, entire text written by a typewriter and bi-lingual Amharic/English quotes so as to not loose the authenticity.

We now need your help to make this book a reality! Printing and shipping a great photography book costs a lot. But with your help the photographs and stories can be passed from the hands of their owners in Ethiopia to the hands of an international audience. Imagine; these stories which show the celebration of everyday life, despite the hardships of the time, will be heard across the world!

Grants we’ve received in Ethiopia from the Embassy of Switzerland, the European Union in Ethiopia and Alliance EthioFrançais have helped us expand the project. 

We are now turning to you for help. We need your support. Below you can find more information about the different rewards that you can get by supporting this campaign.

Book specifications:

225 pages, full color on premium uncoated paper
Sewn-bound in a hard-cover with textile cover
Printed in Germany
Size cm: 17x23 (closed) / 34x23 (open)
Size inch: 6.7x9 (closed) / 13.4x9 (open) 

Bekele Nega in 1956 (boy on the left) when he went to the Akaki Adventist boarding school and in 1973 when he applied to get a seat in the last general election of emperor Haile Selassie.
Bekele Nega in 1956 (boy on the left) when he went to the Akaki Adventist boarding school and in 1973 when he applied to get a seat in the last general election of emperor Haile Selassie.
Genet (second from the right) during a celebration in the 60’s, graduating in the 80’s, and working at Ghion Hotel in the 80’s.
Genet (second from the right) during a celebration in the 60’s, graduating in the 80’s, and working at Ghion Hotel in the 80’s.



Rewards

The book—shipped to you from the printing press

T-shirt—Ethiopia-made cotton t-shirt. Your choice of design based on the images below (you can choose the design when the campaign ends). The unisex t-shirt is available in small, medium, and large.


Tote bag—Cotton bag weaved in Ethiopia. Your choice of design that goes on it.

Meanings: “Addis Abeba Bete” (Addis Ababa My Home, after a well known song-title), “Yedero Arada” (One Cool Oldie, a term to describe people who were cool back in the days), “Addis Abeba Since 1886” (the day the city was founded)
Meanings: “Addis Abeba Bete” (Addis Ababa My Home, after a well known song-title), “Yedero Arada” (One Cool Oldie, a term to describe people who were cool back in the days), “Addis Abeba Since 1886” (the day the city was founded)


Greeting cards
—A set of 3 A6-size greeting cards


Prints
—A3 or A2-size print of one of the options here 

(frame not included)
(frame not included)

The Vintage Addis Tour—We take you out for a day for tour in a group of 7. We take you to some of the places we discovered and introduce you to people we met along the journey. You will get to hear interesting stories from the past first-hand. The day ends with dinner that we cook for you at Philipp's flat.

The vintage photoshooting—Co-founder Philipp and the rest of the team will photograph you in a vintage setting somewhere in Addis. If you want we even will rent a vintage car that you and your partner/family can pose on.

Vintage Addis Ababa in the news

“Love can often flourish in the most hopeless of situations.” BBC

“ቪንቴጅ - አዲስ" -የአዲስ አበባ ትዝታ ፡- ዕድሜቸው 30 እና ከዚያ በላይ ያስቆጠሩ፣ በአብዛኛው በጥቁርና ነጭ ቀለም የተነሱ፣ ትናንትን ነጋሪ ፎቶዎች የተከዘኑበት ድረ-ገጽ ነው፡፡” BBC

“A recent photography project celebrates a counterintuitive truth about human life: that what is most personal tells us about what is most universal.” Selamta

“Vintage Addis Ababa aims to show that people still had lives to live in spite of the monumental incidents happening in the country." Quartz

Interview with Wongel on Arte (French and German)

From cover to cover all stories and captions will be written on typewriter, giving you that vintage feel.
From cover to cover all stories and captions will be written on typewriter, giving you that vintage feel.


The team

The team behind Vintage Addis Ababa are Wongel Abebe, Philipp Schütz and Nafkot Gebeyehu. 

Wongel graduated from the Addis Ababa University School of Journalism and Communications in 2016. She currently works in communications and on various initiatives around youth empowerment. The Youth Mag and Young African Think’rs are her notable undertakings. 

Philipp Schütz studied at the School of Design in Zurich and moved to Ethiopia 6 years ago. Since then he has been working as a publisher, graphic designer and photographer. He produced and published the Simiens book (successfully funded on Kickstarter).

Nafkot Gebeyehu, also a graduate from Addis Ababa University School of Journalism and Communications, currently works in communications and PR. She is a co-founder and host of the weekly radio show The Schmoo Show on EBC radio in Addis Ababa.  

Feel free to drop us a line here on Kickstarter if you want to get to know us better or meet us for a coffee in Addis Ababa.


Our partners in Addis Ababa

We are currently looking at different book cloth options.
We are currently looking at different book cloth options.
Full house at Hager Fiker theatre in the early 1980's.
Full house at Hager Fiker theatre in the early 1980's.
Senait Mekbib Woldekiros on her wedding day at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Arat Kilo.  We met her recently and she gave us access to her wedding album. We are meeting her soon to get her story.
Senait Mekbib Woldekiros on her wedding day at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Arat Kilo. We met her recently and she gave us access to her wedding album. We are meeting her soon to get her story.

Risks and challenges

Producing a book is very time-consuming and expensive. Judging from the journey so far we anticipate late nights and long days working on this project. Working towards the book, while also running the digital archive and social media will not be easy. However we are developing a backlog for social media to help us focus on the book.

Our excitement about this passion project has turned the hard work into a labour of love. And this keeps us going. Philipp has worked on books and other publications before and this has helped us be more prepared for the task at hand. You can read more about this under the FAQ.

We are confident this book will be in your hands by the end of the year. However, if the project is significantly more successful than we expect, shipping times might be slightly delayed based on a larger number of copies printed than originally projected.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CHF 5 or more About US$ 6

    Ever little bit helps

    Ever little bit helps. You will receive our behind the scenes project updates.

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    Pledge CHF 7 or more About US$ 8

    Handwritten note from Ethiopia

    We will write you a card from Ethiopia to thank you for your contribution.

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    4 backers
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    Pledge CHF 12 or more About US$ 13

    Set of 3 greeting cards

    3 greeting cards with vintage photos printed on nice and thick paper stock (see photo in project description)

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    • Set of 3 greeting cards
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    Pledge CHF 28 or more About US$ 29

    T-shirt

    A nice cotton t-shirt, made in Ethiopia, according to your preference. (See design options in project description)

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    • T-shirt
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    Pledge CHF 37 or more About US$ 38

    The book

    We will send it to you straight from the printing press in Germany.

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    • The book
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    Pledge CHF 49 or more About US$ 50

    Book + greeting cards

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    • The book
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    Pledge CHF 67 or more About US$ 68

    Book + t-shirt

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    Pledge CHF 70 or more About US$ 71

    Education sponsor

    You pay for your book and one that we give to a school library in Addis Ababa.

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    • The book
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    Pledge CHF 74 or more About US$ 75

    Read one, give one to a friend

    Get 1 give 1. Pay for two books & one goes to a school library in Ethiopia.

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    • The book
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    Pledge CHF 97 or more About US$ 98

    Book + print

    You get a print with your choice of photo (see options in project description)

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    • The book
    • Print
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    Pledge CHF 99 or more About US$ 101

    The Vintage Addis Ababa fan

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    • Set of 3 greeting cards
    • Totebag
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    Pledge CHF 106 or more About US$ 108

    Read one, give two

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    • The book
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    Pledge CHF 120 or more About US$ 122

    The Vintage Addis Ababa enthusiast

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    • Set of 3 greeting cards
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    Pledge CHF 170 or more About US$ 172

    5 books

    Books can be shipped to different addresses

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    • The book
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    2 backers
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    Pledge CHF 194 or more About US$ 196

    The book and the tour

    Pre-order a book and we will hand it to you when you join our tour.

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    • The book
    • Vintage Addis Tour
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    Pledge CHF 220 or more About US$ 223

    Become a patron of Vintage Addis Ababa

    Your extra donation will help us to make this book a reality. We will mention your name* in the book colophon as a sponsor of the project (if desired).

    *only individuals, no organisations.

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    • The book
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    • Set of 3 greeting cards
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    Pledge CHF 377 or more About US$ 381

    Become a patron and join our tour

    Your extra donation will help us to make this book a reality. We will mention your name book colophon as a sponsor of the project).

    *only individuals, no organisations.

    Includes:
    • The book
    • Print
    • Set of 3 greeting cards
    • Totebag
    • T-shirt
    • Vintage Addis Tour
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    Pledge CHF 393 or more About US$ 397

    Patron with 5 books

    Your extra donation will help us to make this book a reality. We will mention your name* in the book colophon as a sponsor of the project (if desired).

    *only individuals, no organisations.

    Includes:
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    • Set of 3 greeting cards
    • Totebag
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    Pledge CHF 437 or more About US$ 442

    The book + the vintage photoshoot

    In Addis only: We take you and your partner/family out for a cool vintage photo shoot in Addis (more infos in project descriptions)

    Includes:
    • The book
    • Vintage photoshooting
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    Pledge CHF 620 or more About US$ 627

    Become a patron and get the photo shoot

    Become a patron, get everything we produce and we take you and your partner/family out for a cool vintage photo shoot in Addis

    Includes:
    • The book
    • Print
    • T-shirt
    • Vintage photoshooting
    • Totebag
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Funding period

- (30 days)