The Nobel Peace Prize Exhibition: Behind the scenes

My name is Finbarr O’Reilly I’m an independent photographer, and I’m in Oslo this week for the opening of the Nobel Peace Prize exhibition. The Nobel Peace every year commissions a photographer to create an exhibition around the laureate of the year and I went to Ethiopia for a few weeks, and worked on some of the challenges that the Ethiopian Prime Minister is facing. It was important for me to be able to come in with a certain amount of knowledge of the country, but also to incorporate that view and that perspective with a view of the country that was gonna quite different from the inside. Wow! The thing that I like is the kind of richness of detail that you can see in this. But all of the images really they have this kind of richness and depth to them, it feels a little bit like when you’re used to shoot on transparencies and you never get that feeling of being pulled into the picture, when you’re looking it on your 12inch laptop or even in a newspaper or magazine. For the Nobel Peace Prize exhibition we will have a combination of my work along with the work of seven Ethiopian photographers, and for the work of the Ethiopian photographers we’ve asked Aida Muluneh to co-curate their works. My name is Aida Muluneh, I’m an artist and a photographer Being here has a been very rewarding experience and it’s quite interesting to have this platform and this opportunity thanks to Finbarr, who has really made this collaboration quite a positive experience for all of us This exhibition is more than Dr. Abyi winning this award for me, it’s really the historical moment that for the first time honestly for an African laureate they also have African present in the exhibition. I know that a lot of people are attracted by the colors but my goal is to attract them by the colors, but when you get closer to the work there are several layers of exploration in each frame. I always say that I want to create work not for the elite, but I want to create work for the world. And thru that, I am trying to transmit very specific messages that relate to my own personal experience. The metaphor of this picture, this long winding road, and the title of the exhibition, “Crossroads Ethiopia” We chose this image as the kind of signature image to open the exhibition The combination of the size of the file, the raw file, and then the quality of the printing and the way the guys at Studio Technika were able to bring the necessary elements, has created a balance here that actually works to the point where you can even see the grain in the wood of the handle. I’m very conscious as a non-African, I’m going to have a very different perspective than African photographers, And the Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been talking about this idea of medemer, is this philosophy of synergy and coming together. It made perfect sense to balance these things, so that I can bring that outsider’s view inward to Ethiopia, but that they can provide this insider’s view outward about how they wanted their country to be represented and shown.

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