This blog is dedicated to the ancient cartography and the photography of early times in Ethiopia and in the Horn of Africa. It specially focuses on the pre-WW II period and the Italian invasion of Addis Ababa (May 1936). Hence, we wish to highlight pre-20th century maps and the work of the main photographers who were active in the Horn between 1870s and 1936.

We consider photos as historical witnesses and sources before their aesthetic value. Photos are a primary material for documenting the History of the Horn of Africa, especially when traditional archives are missing. In the same scope, cartography is to be considered as a historical source depicting the geographical knowledge of a time, but also what information is wanted to be shown (or hidden). Considering maps and photos in a historiographical perspective is part of the epistemological consideration of the use of graphical sources in the writing of History.

Comments are welcome, as well as your own posts, for publication in this blog (use the contact form).

This blog is also concerned with what is going on in Ethiopia and in the Horn of Africa, with a focus on geopolitical and historical issues that shape Ethiopia as a regional power and Addis Ababa as a global city (Sassen The Global City 1991).


Edited by Serge DEWEL, PhD (History of Ethiopia), lecturer at INALCO (Université Sorbonne Paris-Cité)