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When I think about my childhood, one of the things that I have stuck in my head forever are the sounds and smells of my city, my neighborhood. Every time I go back to Argentina, all my memories come back as soon as I get out of the plane at the airport. The same thing happens with other places where I’ve lived or cities I’ve visited.
Ethiopia has also very distinctive sounds and every time I watch a movie of that country, everything comes back to me: memories, feelings, thoughts.
Jacob Kirkegaard is a Danish artist who explores and plays with sounds all over the world and that made a series of recordings in Ethiopia in 2010 called Ears of the Other.
He later returned to the country and along with filmmaker Vincent Moon, continued this project. Together they recorded and filmed in different places, like for example the Merkato in Addis Ababa.
Most of this work is still unavailable to the public but one of the clips of the project can we watched and specially heard on Vimeo. It shows the people of the Circus Debre Berhan performing in the streets. There are no subtitles, no explanations and even better that watching the images is closing your eyes and just listen.
You’ll hear the performers, the spectators, the cars and buses passing by, the rest of the people going about their daily business. Like being in Ethiopia all over again.
Amazing and beautiful piece of film.

If you want to read more about the project, here are some links:

Ethiopia: sounds of the present, past and future The Guardian UK
All ears on Ethiopia – explorations of sound artist Jacob Kirkegaard Addis Rumble
Jacob Kirkegaard
Ears of the Other by Jacob Kirkegaard
Vincent Moon