I had no intention of travelling for the sake of it, nor to be a tourist. I wanted to go where time stands still. I wanted to see up close if the smiles I saw on glossy magazines are real, in conditions of extreme poverty. I wanted to test my limits.

My wandering starts way before my arrival in Ethiopia. I endlessly study everything I can about the tribes that seem forsaken by time. I imagine the endless dirt roads that lie ahead.

I know the term for ‘foreigner’ already. Faranji is Amharic for stranger but is mostly used to describe westerners. This is how everyone addressed me during my time in Ethiopia, although this word carries no hostile ring as it is mostly accompanied by smiles and gentle tones. I wanted to find a way to express this feeling in my photographs.

In Ethiopia, formerly known by the exonym Abyssinia, I weave my story with people, seemingly barren landscapes and objects. It’s always a feeling from my contact with people, that propels me to visually portray this reality in my photographs.

[Copyright © 2017 Χαρά Σκλήκα ~ Hara Sklika].