My name is Aden Abebe.
Four years of International Development Studies at the University of Toronto taught me several things, the most influential being, the key to successful international development is done at the community level. And so, by day, I support amazing not-for-profits in program development, event programming, community research and communications. Currently, I'm working with local community health organizations and culturally specific groups to deliver mental health and wellness programming to communities of colour - starting with the East African community in Toronto - an issue close to my heart and succeeds my photo exhibition, Mental Health: a mother’s burden.
My background in conceptual and creative photography has led to me to creative direct marketing initiatives for small & medium-sized businesses and government.
In 2016, my pitch for a new television show about four virgins gallivanting through the dating scene as millennials and women of colour, lead me to receive an artist residency in Palomino, Colombia. There, I woke up to the sounds of the ocean, ate empanadas and platanos, and wrote what would become "virgins!". In 2018, with a cast and crew of 33, we filmed the beginnings of my series, "virgins!". As one fan put it, "A show about four women of colour chilling and talking over food, it's the Sex and the City I've always wanted." Wish us luck!
My passions lie at the intersection of art, empowerment and social justice. Whether it be screenwriting for an original series, creating conceptual photo-essays on mental health, directing commercials for government campaigns, producing multi-day conferences and events, or managing youth programming and development of a not-for-profit, I address every project with enthused optimism for the possibilities of what can be created.
Community focused and community inspired, Aden pursues art as a means not an end, and always has a greater vision for where her art can take her and her community. She wants to see her community heal and aims to create art that is part of that process by telling untold stories and prompting critical discussion.
Aden is a natural storyteller. She has an intuitive ability to brand and market people, their products and businesses in a way that appeals to the eye and to the heart. Her experience working in marketing, combined with a natural eye for design and visual communication techniques has made her a trusted voice among managers and executives. Aden is invested in the success of her clients and is uncompromising in her ambition to achieve it. Currently, she is working with start-up companies, entrepreneurs and artists to develop their personal and professional brands.
All photos are the works of Aden Abebe unless otherwise stated.