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World's oldest art studio found in Ethiopian cave

For 4,500 years, ancient humans kept on coming back to one cave in Ethiopia. It's a roomy enclosure at the base of a limestone cliff. People used the cave to store reddish stones rich in iron oxide, and then they turned those stones into different colors. A new study suggests that the cave, called Porc-Epic, was the world's first art studio.

Near the city of Dire Dawa, Porc-Epic has long been a focus of study because of the variety of rocks characterized by a red or yellow color or streak, known as ochre, found there. Over 4,000 pieces of ochre have been discovered at Porc-Epic and currently reside in a museum in Addis Abba. There, they were studied by Daniela Eugenia Rosso of the University of Barcelona in Spain and Francesco d'Errico and Alain Queffelec of the University of Bordeaux in France.

Ochre had any number of uses in the ancient world, including hide tanning, adhesive production, insect repellent, antiseptic treatments, and protecting oneself from the sun. (PLOS ONE)

Jason Derulo to feature on Coke Studio Africa's Global Fusion Edition

Coke Studio will bring a mega platinum star: Jason Derulo, a new-school, multi-talented creative giant, who has sold over 50 million singles and impressively achieved 11 platinum singles including ‘Wiggle’, ‘Whatcha’ Say’, ‘Talk Dirty’ and ‘It Girl’.

This year Coke Studio has merged Coke Studio Africa and Coke Studio South Africa into one bigger and better Coke Studio Africa - 2017.

The show has confirmed Jason Derulo as this year’s guest star set to feature on a special episode themed “the Global Fusion Edition!” The American Pop/R&B singer and dancer, who is currently riding high with his latest banger ‘Swalla,’ is expected to jet into Nairobi, Kenya this week (June 2017) to participate in the recording of Coca-Cola’s flagship African music show: Coke Studio Africa.

Two of Africa’s hottest music producers: Masterkraft (Nigeria) and DJ Maphorisa (South Africa) will be tasked with producing all the African artists including Jason Derulo, after which all the music will be performed and recorded live alongside Coke Studio’s highly talented house band. (Press Release)

Julie Mehretu’s ‘Uptown’ @ Wallach Art Gallery NYC

Last month Ethiopian-American artist Julie Mehretu was inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters. The Academy, which is chartered by the US Congress, was established in 1898
“as an honor society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers, and writers.” According to the organization’s website: “The Academy seeks to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music, and the Fine Arts by administering over 70 awards and prizes, exhibiting art and manuscripts and funding performances of new works of musical theater.”

This week Julie Mehretu and Jessica Rankin’s artworks are also featured at Colombia University’s Wallach Art Gallery. The exhibition, aptly titled “Uptown”, inaugurates the gallery’s new space in Harlem at 125th Street and Broadway.

“Up town showcases established and mid-career artists alongside emerging talent from Harlem, El Barrio, Washington Heights and all neighborhoods in between,” the gallery announced. “With this initiative, the Wallach Art Gallery joins northern Manhattan’s vibrant art scene. Uptown celebrates these neighborhoods long at the vanguard in nurturing vital, internationally recognized art.” (Tadias)

Ethiopia voted ‘World’s Most Welcoming Country’

The Land of Origins, Ethiopia has been voted the World’s Most Welcoming Country by global followers of Rough Guides; one of the leading travel publishers known for its “tell it like it is” review; providing traveller’s up-to-date content and authoritative contemporary writing.

According to the review, digital followers of Rough Guides were asked to share their experiences of the most hospitable places around the world and voted Ethiopia witnessing the unique features as: a profoundly beautiful East African country with a history that stretches back many thousands of years, never colonized and with the tribal customs and hospitable traditions largely maintained intact.

Tewolde Gebremariam, Chairman of the Ethiopian Tourism Transformation Board and CEO of Ethiopian Airlines expressed his delight on the vote of confidence.

Voters of Rough Guides have also reiterated the magnificent taste and ceremony of Ethiopian coffee; recommending travellers never to miss the unique taste and real mark of friendship it induces.

Rough Guides Ltd is a UK-based travel guidebook and reference publisher. (Press Release)