Michael Tsegaye lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He graduated in painting from the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Arts and Design in 2002, but gave up painting when he developed an allergy to oil paint. However, he found his real passion in photography and has made out of it not just a profession, but a way of expressing a very particular voice.
"As a photographer I try as much as possible to escape being pigeonholed. This is especially relevant as an African – and Ethiopian – photographer. I place myself among my peers (photographers and painters) across the world. As an Ethiopian I do not have a duty to focus my lens on suffering alone. My life, and that of other African artists, is not predicated on poverty and hardships, although they are common sights. Rather I seek to understand my life and standpoint in the 21st century and express these through art."