Addis Ababa 2017.
What will come of all this dust raised, of these numerous constructions made of concrete which blossom in the city center and in the suburbs of Addis Ababa?
Is it responding to the strong population growth happening in Ethiopia associated with a massive rural exodus towards the cities?
Or serves a completely different purpose, like giving Addis Ababa the assets to become as developed as other big cities in the world?
This urban densification started several years ago while a large proportion of the population is still living under the poverty line. In 2016, I was really shocked when I came back to live in Addis Ababa that I visited ten years before.
Witnessing of this transformation, I wanted to meet the construction workers: in the numerous construction sites of the city center where the new buildings are gradually replacing the slums and private houses; in the suburbs with a new residential development; and finally on the roads which contribute to a new mapping of the city.
With this series of portraits made in-situ with a Rolleiflex, capturing the strength of their look and with their worn clothes showing the arduousness of their work, I wanted to pay homage to these young people coming from the poorest areas in the countryside, working in difficult and dangerous conditions, who once injured, will be quickly replaced and forgotten.