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Day 3: Willy Ndatira

published on 12 August 2020

For Day 3 of the designer and creative consultant's @SHOWstudio takeover in collaboration with designer Hussein Alusch, Willy Ndatira explored the creation of content via appropriation.

They shared Through A Lens Darkly, a vital documentary exploring the role of photography in African American history. Whilst highlighting the agency offered by the medium, the takeover also included work ranging from photographs by Xaviera Simmons to the inaugural cover of The Crisis magazine, founded by W.E.B Du Bois in 1910. Ndatira and Alusch also explored the influence of post-colonial African portraits on contemporary fashion imagery, looking to the likes of photographer Malick Sidibé.

For Day 3 of the designer and creative consultant's @SHOWstudio takeover in collaboration with designer Hussein Alusch, Willy Ndatira explored the creation of content via appropriation.

Through a Lens Darkly (2014)

The first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations, and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present. The documentary probes the recesses of American history through images. African Americans historically embraced the medium as a way to subvert popular stereotypes as far back as the civil war era, with Frederick Douglass. When photography as technology became popular it was used against black people and some fought back through the medium.

Xaviera Simmons merges photography, landscape and sculpture.
The first black magazine, The Crisis, was founded in 1920 by W.E.B Du Bois.
'Grandma explosion' by Naito Masatoshi. (Japanese female shamans during a night ritual)
Accumulations (under skirt sculpture) by Xaviera Simmons.
Malick Sidibé 70s - Mali, Bamako. Images of Post Colonial African Youth. Before Sidibé harnessed self representation. African people were photographed through the white gaze in anthropological style images: shown with no clothes and preferably standing outside a hut.
Seydou Keïta. Notice the use of the bag, watch, earring and shoe similar to current luxury campaign art direction.
The use of the shoes. Top: Young Gentlemen by Malick Sidibé. Bottom: Contemporary Fashion campaigns.
This Sidibé portrait reminds of Degas.
Drowning World by Gideon Mendel
Drowning World - Gideon Mendel
Global Warming. Damage photograph from a flood by Gideon Mendel
Lagos Butcher Portrait by Aàde Sokan
French artist @nehamastudio knows how to capture Johannesburg's magical yet gritty energy. The city has a dark and mysterious side to it also found in @rogerballen's work.
Self representation matters. Rafael Pavarotti.
Tommy, Samson and a Mask. By Roger Ballen.
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