Yesterday, Sociological Images reposted these incredible images, which originally came from the Daily Mail, a conservative British tabloid. These images appeared in “Femail” – the Daily Mail’s lifestyle section for women – under the title “Out of Africa: The incredible tribal fashion show inspired by Mother Nature.” Both SocImages and another fascinating blog, zunguzungu, took issue with the vapid exoticization that was going on in the article. I highly reccomend reading zunguzungu’s eloquent analysis of the Daily Mail’s presentation of these images, titled “Recycling Africa“.
Serious Business aside, I just want to say this: the images themselves are absolutely striking. When I separate these images from the Daily Mail’s silly writeup (“As they paint each other’s bodies and make bold decisions about their outfits… it seems that the only thing that motivates them is the sheer fun of creating their looks, and showing them off to other members of the tribe”), and from SocImages’ somewhat guilt-tripping Daily Mail smackdown (“What does it mean that people in the U.K. (and the U.S.) are consuming these images? What is the relationship between these images and colonialism? How do such images interact with “development” rhetoric about how Africa is un- or under-developed, developing, or undevelopable?”), on a purely visual level, I’m just absolutely inspired.
It’s amazing, how we can rearrange ourselves.