Hilina Abebe
Hilina Abebe

When war broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, hundreds of thousands of people fled to the unknown in neighboring countries. By April 2016, more than 280,000 people had taken shelter in refugee camps in Western Ethiopia. The majority are women and children.

As I walked through one of the refugee camps in Gambella, the thing that struck me the most was how normal life seemed for everyone, how they carried themselves despite their status as “refugees” and their uncertain future.

This work seeks to show the everyday life of those in exile — not as boxed-in refugees in a camp, but as human beings who thrive to live.

Artist Bios

  • Hilina Abebe

    Ethiopian-born Hilina Abebe is a self-taught photographer based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Hilina developed a deep curiosity about art as a child, but it was not until her 20s that she discovered her passion for photography. She finds herself portraying everyday people and their lives.

    With a background in journalism and communications, and a keen interest in society, she hopes to combine the two with photography to spark people’s interests. Hilina is inspired by the infinite potential of visual art and creativity. She strives to use the camera to tell stories that have social significance.


  • United Photo Industries (UPI)

    United Photo Industries (UPI)

    United Photo Industries (UPI) is a New York based nonprofit organization that works to promote a wider understanding of, and increased access to, the art of photography.

    Since its founding in 2011, UPI has rapidly solidified its position in the public art landscape by continuing to showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography from across the globe. In its first seven years, UPI has presented the work of more than 2,500 visual artists in gallery exhibitions and public art installations worldwide.

Humans in Exile

 archive : 2016

Featuring: Hilina Abebe

Presented by: United Photo Industries (UPI)
  • United Photo Industries (UPI)


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