Learning of the current projects and innovations within this country is not an easy find, and there are many talented people across Eritrea with a lot of potential and amazing ideas. Having the space and opportunity to present and see these ideas has only been possible in expo. One of the main attractions of expo will always be the exhibitions and learning activities we have had the chance to witness and experience in the exhibition halls and stalls.
Within the tent of Ministry of Defense, they presented a photography display of pictures that have been captured from the beginning of the war in Tigray starting in 2020 until this year where it ended in 2023. The pictures were presented in order going around so you could see where the bombing started in 2020; for example, one of the pictures was of a bombed house at Villago. There where pictures of Eritrean soldier’s journey and the stops they made along the way and closer to the end we saw the celebration of soldiers in Zal Anbesa for the peace between the two counties. The very last picture was of our president Isaias Afewerki in Sawa with the Serawitat (soldiers) celebrating. Seeing these pictures brought mixed emotions and feeling to the participants of the exhibition.
The Photographers of these photos were soldiers who part took in the war themselves, and who have interest and amazing talent in photography. We managed to meet some of them in the tent as they were present to educate others of the place and time of the photos. The co- workers took their time to described to us the meaning and history behind the pictures and what it meant to them. The information we were told was very educational and memorable as the narrators were part of the experience themselves. We managed to get an in-depth explanation from one of the journalist and photographer of the stall to describe their aim of the display of the photographs and how they felt when taking them; thus enlightening us on the aim of the pictures and giving us a deeper understanding of the life of our Eritrean soldiers and the country they are fighting for.
From a personal perspective I was very touched by the pictures that were presented as they beautifully captured struggling times of our people. However, looking at the pictures you only feel more proud to be Eritrean as the journey that was presented was clearly difficult. Nonetheless in all the pictures, I only saw unity and bonds between our people. The photos created more of an understanding on the struggle and hardships of our Eritrean people and what our fellow soldiers have been through. Therefore, it created many heartfelt feelings when collectively observing the pictures. Hearing about the struggles and seeing physical photos are two different things. When seeing pictures, it makes you feel as though you are present within the picture thus leaving you with a more impactful and truthful impression. Nonetheless I was very proud to see the hard work our photographers and people have put into this presentation. The history within these photos will forever be remembered and I hope others will have the opportunity to see these amazing photos in person to really grasp the strength and resilience of our people.
N.B: As this exhibition was private project we were not allowed to take any pictures of the photos as they are not to be distributed other than seeing them in person as a participant of expo.
By Mela Biniam Asmellash
Co-writer Semhar Kibrom