Posts Tagged ‘photography’
I’m hooked on this street/party style blog from South Africa called “Skattie What Are You Wearing?” There are candid photos of hipsters, scenesters, and fashionistas galore. I laughed when I saw a friend who lives in Cape Town captured in a photo. It’s winter in South Africa, and these people look good.
Photos via Skattie What Are You Wearing?
Africa and innovation are two words that, if you listened only to the popular narrative of the continent, don’t seem like they belong together. Much of the innovation and astounding creativity in design, art, media, and technology is happening seemingly (to us) in off the grid towns and villages — but luckily, we can see some of it on the internet, too. On AfriGadget, which I’ve been following for a long time, the most brilliant and unlikely inventions both practical and luxurious are featured from across the continent. And on African Digital Art, which I recently ran into, there is photography, art, design, film, and music from the whole of the African diaspora, including places like the island Guyana, which is where the photographer who took the above photo, Kwesi Abbensetts, is from.
The range of invention and self-sufficiency across this huge, diverse continent is kind of overwhelming. I want to one day take a trip to the annual Maker Faire Africa — being held this year in Cairo — and get in on this “celebration of African ingenuity.”
Mary Sibande, a South African artist, is one of the sharpest visual critics I’ve seen in a long time. In her latest series, “Long Live the Dead Queen,” she takes a look at a popular, persistent portrayal of black women in South African society — as the ever faithful maid — and then subverts those images in gloriously stunning ways.
The images are featured on billboards and sides of buildings as large murals throughout Johannesburg. Sibande originally sculpted the figures, then took photos of the sculptures, and then had the photos splayed in gigantic scale across walls, photos of women in Victorian-style gowns with layers of delicate, jarringly bright tulle and satin.
An excellent story came out last year about the transportation problems of black women who live in Soweto and other townships and who commute to the rich suburbs of Johannesburg to clean the houses and take care of the children of white families. One in six women in South Africa work as a maid or nanny, nearly all of them black. Despite the country’s considerable progress after the fall of apartheid, too many things have stayed the same. See more of her photos here.
Julián Cardona, a Mexican photojournalist from Ciudad Juarez, has become storied for his gritty yet haunting photos of drug-related violence and the effects of globalization in northern Mexico and on the U.S.-Mexico border. He has been called both an artist and a storyteller, a skilled photographer who is giving Americans and Mexicans alike an inside view of what is like to actually live in a town that has also become storied for all the wrong reasons. Some of his latest work is featured in Vanity Fair.
“This was no voyeur trying to capture the grotesque. This was no circus. This was a photographer trying to convey what his landscape was like. These were photographs of home.” – Benjamin Alire Saenz, curator of the CUE Art Foundation, on Julián Cardona
Photos via Vanity Fair
Oumar Ly is one of those artists people like to “discover” — even though he’s been taking photos for decades. His photos are strange, ethereal, beautiful creations: both fashion shots and portraits, the images are a poignant photo gallery of his city, including the rural outreaches. He began his photo career working with local officials, accompanying them to take official pictures as they visited various villages. Over the last 40 years, he has taken more than 5,000 pictures of the people who live there.
The Senegalese photographer still lives and works in his hometown of Podor, where he got his first camera, a Kodak Brownie Flash, from a French serviceman. A collection of his “brush portraits” are now on display at the Brighton Photo Biennial.
Photos via PHOTO.fr
For most of high school and early college, I struggled to find clothes that I liked and that really suited me. I had phases where I tried out different genres (prep, punk, all black), but didn’t really feel comfortable in any of them. Until I found the top shelves (so high I still couldn’t reach them even while standing on a chair) of my dad’s closet.
There I found stacks of gorgeous rumpled fabrics in a dazzling array of colors. Long men’s and boys’ shirts in kente and ankara cloths with swirling, intricate designs; feet-sweeping and embroidered tunics in soft blue materials; piles of funky-patterned scarves in every color combination you can imagine; printed dresses of all styles (scoop-neck, strapless, cap sleeves). These were the clothes of my parents’ past, the past of my brothers and I, all originating from Nigeria. How had I forgotten about this clothing?
So I took some, and then more, and then more. Shortened some pieces, hemmed others, cut into yet others to make them fit and work for me. I wear my brothers’ discarded clothes, along with my dad’s, too. Of course I still shop at stores like H&M, but these clothes are what make me feel like me.
There’s a new blog that I love, called Nairobi Style, that is modern and completely original. Why not photos of street style in East Africa, one of the most vibrant, fresh and colorful fashion scenes I’ve ever encountered? Whenever I go to Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania or Uganda, I try to get as many fabrics and accessories as I can. You can see why from these photos.
Photos via Nairobi Style
Now that I’m based in New York for awhile, this blog will shift more to observations of African and Latin people/doings/events/scenes in the United States, along still with thoughts on migration, travel, and the crossing and mixing of cultures.
The first of which is Mexico+Afuera (subtitled “Contemporary Mexican and Mexican-American Voices”), a current photo exhibit that takes a look at the work of three photographers — Chuy Benitez, Dulce Pinzon (whom I profiled here), and Monica Ruzansky — who are either Mexican or Mexican-American. The event’s description says:
“Each artist has a distinct approach: Pinzón, with her poignant portraits of Mexican immigrants in New York City who are heroically supporting families back home; Benitez, documenting decisive ‘minutes’ in his stitched, panoramic images of Mexican communities in Houston; and Ruzansky, capturing the rhythm of life after dark in Mexico City, illuminated only by car headlights. Whether addressing sociopolitical issues or inspired by memories of home, all three serve as conduits, connecting us to geographically disparate areas of North America with their work.”
Ruzansky’s collection is based on road trips she took through Mexico City at night.
The images are both startling and familiar, in a way, to most who have been to Mexico City.
Benitez’s amateur charros, or cowboys, in Houston are one of his most endearing photos.