100 meter canvas 17 Comments


The United States Population Fund organized a painting party of sorts in the middle of Meskel Square.

UNFPA who has been in the cutting age of raising awareness for health, came up with the “Stop Early Marriage” campaign and asked 30 Ethiopian painters to gather together and paint on the largest canvas ever painted in Ethiopian history.

An astounding 100 meters canvas by 30 people, phew! That is as big as some official soccer fields.

I looked up the names of the artist and was only able to find Desta Hagos, who Mestawot featured a while back; Bekele Mekonen who is actually quite famous and Alem Teklu, who I have never heard of but is the owner of the painting seen above.

Now I am looking for the picture of the painting. Lova was present and wrote a few things.


17 Responses to “100 meter canvas”

  1. 1 Grand Ma

    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Wow,Desta Hagos rocks. I loved her contribution to this particular cause and it’s amazing. Her painting moves right under your eyes. Beautiful!

  2. 2 Wurgatu lij

    Early marriage can not be stopped by painting on 100 meters canvas!!!!

    Sorry i am very much annoyed by this breaking news.

    Fuck today and hope that tomorrow will be a miscarriage yiluachihual indih aynetun new.
    i always wounder yetignaw merkeb izihich midir lay endaragefen!

    Our farmers are not yet comfortable enough to admire some artistic works of art and learn from it. as for me it is better to use other workable positioning strategies to address the issue to the ones who are victimized by this harmful practice

  3. 3 Grand Ma

    You may be right when you said early marriage cannot be stopped by painting, but it makes a great deal awareness in people’s mind and we’ll start talking about it among us. I think the paintings would be a wonderful idea and a small contribution addressing the issue.

  4. 4 Wurgatu lij

    You may be right when you said early marriage cannot be stopped by painting, but it makes a great deal awareness in people’s mind and we’ll start talking about it among us. I think the paintings would be a wonderful idea and a small contribution addressing the issue.

    Grand Ma i really feel you! but don’t you think we(the so called educated people) have already done all the takings? nobody can deny that the paintings could play certain roll in the awareness creation process.What really makes me sick inside is the fact that big organizations like UNFPA is still playing a toddlers part over this crucial issue.Is this what you as Ethiopian expect from these organizations? if this is what they, to the maximum, plan to contribute i say go to hell with your money and stop meddling in our affairs. this is our own motherland and we know what to do to educate our brothers and sisters.

    menge ones said yalnewun hulu bilenal yeminadergewun inadrig

    i hate show business very much and this is what i clearly see from this campaign of UNFPA sayiteru abet saylaku wedet

  5. 5 E

    Wurgatu Lij, your argument reminds me of this article: http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101020304/story.html.

    For UNFPA it might be a show business. They might have planned other strategies as well—I don’t know. So I prefer to save my judgment. But you are right, how is a farmer supposed to know that for example Desta’s abstract painting means “stop early child marriage?”

    I believe your comment can lead one to ask the following questions:

    What is the role of art when only few people understand its language?

    Can the visual artist effectively tackle social problems in an environment where art is so undervalued?

    and so on…

    The artists still deserve appreciation, however.

  6. 6 Winta

    Nolawi ,
    its the United Nations not States …lol, though.

  7. 7 soj

    ….If only you guys knew the fact that the scheme was thought out over a bottle of beer in some flimsy corner…..by the “human development experts”…that get paid preposterious amounts of money as wages…..did I mention that they get a pay raise out of such “successful and ingenious” proposals…?….It is Meskel square for crying out loud……if there are people who are not aware of these social issues its because they prefer to….nothing a 100m canvas can do to change…..

  8. 8 spacefog

    Engdih Below is the purpose of the program ,according to allafrica.com. Look at the targeted audiance, it works for me.

    PPL ,pls show some appreciation.

    ”this unique, participatory and big-impact event is believed to be a key milestone in enhancing the understanding of the public, policy-makers and development stakeholders on early marriage” “Early Marriage is one of the prevalent forms of gender-based violence in Ethiopia with negative consequences on women’s and girl’s reproductive health, including maternal deaths, fistula, HI V/AIDS and other negative psycho-social problems,”

  9. 9 bgFelasfit

    i think the questions should be:
    is this trying to raise awareness within ethiopia or outside ethiopia???
    And if so…has real content about early marriages been relayed to the world or is it the fanfare event that’s usually associated with programs like Live8, feel-good-do-good pop movies?

  10. 10 lova

    I just wanted to drop by and tell you that I appreciate the mention here.
    I read through the discussion here and appreciated each POV. I just wanted to add that I know for a fact that the organization of such event was not a small feat and that the reward as far PR is quite minute, may it be for UNFPA or the artists as it did not make headlines in the local media.
    Early marriage is a health care issue first and foremost as far as UNFPA is concerned. Their data show that incidence of fistula is highest among married young girls.
    100 meter canvas helps increase awareness for local social organizations to advocate for the end of early marriage practice.
    We also have similar awareness issues from organizations in Madagascar.

    Best and again thank you,

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