Colour Confusion

a few months ago, a classmate asked me to model for a shoot, which i thought was really cool, so i said yes without paying any attention to the ins and outs of the concept, i heard something about Irving Penn but didn't really connect the dots.. [alarm bells]
note:i love Irving Penn's work but its irrefutable that a lot of early anthropological photography like his played a big part in creating and maintaining certain skewed perceptions of Africa and Africans.

So i later found out that the shoot was based around the concept of relativity(loosely) 
people would be presented with the images of myself and the white model, then be made to pick who they thought was more South African than English and vice versa.
(as it happens we're both South African born and semi-bred, but I've been a Londoner a lot longer than my male model counterpart)
Just the idea of Ethnic Absolutism makes my blood boil, the whole thing was kind of like a reversal of the 'me Tarzan you Jane' kind of thing, but this time shock horror the Jane would be a black girl, which would confuse people because the existence of black Europeans is some absurd myth riiight!?
OR the realisation that Africans don't just come in varying shades of brown would really screw up people's minds riiiiight?!
*cue dirty sarcastic eye roll*
the essence of my gripe is that there is no such thing as an ethnic absolute, and i think most people are intelligent enough to have realised this. Therefore it's irrelevant, regressive and redundant to ask people to make assumptions (and expect them to make the obvious ones) on my birthplace or the colour of my passport, just from the sight of me dressed in 'civilised'-people clothing
(as opposed to the natural state they'd expect to see me in, barefoot and wearing nothing but a beaded head-dress and a banana skirt riiiiiiiight?!)
*cue another eye roll* 
I'll stop myself there before i start reciting some Paul Gilroy, because at the end of the day i made the decision so it's mine to mull over.. i just felt the need to vent a little
here's a few flicks from the shoot..
there are more pictures but i think i'm only comfortable sharing these..
thoughts?

6 comments:

J E N E E N + N I C O L E said...

These pics are awesome!!
x
jn

duckalicious said...

umm, sorry but no, most people aren't intelligent enough. if it's any consolation, you look great!

InnyVinny said...

I was going to say what duckalicious said...you'd be surprised at how dumb people are.

And you do look great!

girlharry said...

Have they made her leave her legs unshaven to further reinforce the stereotype? Goodness gracious.

You do look fab though.

Florie said...

@girlharry thats a man,he's just very pretty!
i guess i tae for granted that we're all kind of on the same wavelength of Bell Hooks awesomery.. maybe this subject is still relevant in some places.
ps.thank you for the compliments!

Chomy said...

you look great
and i do love your take on the whole thing but i agree with Ducky and Lish, most people are idiots. it is not an exaggeration it is a fact.