2.28.2013

BLACKFACE


Instead of hiring the black models who were glaringly absent from the Fashion Week runway and rarely appear in global campaigns, Numéro Magazine chose a white 16 year-old girl for their “AfricanQueen” editorial whose face they painted black.
According to Jezebel:
Here’s 16-year-old white model Ondria Hardin; she’s doused in a very deep bronze in an editorial for Numéro magazine called “African Queen”. Ugh. Foudre makes the excellent point/sums it up with, “why hire a black model when you could just paint a white one!”
Adding insult to injury, several black models are signed to the very agency that represents Ondria Hardin yet they were passed over for a shoot that purports to acknowledge African culture.
It’s appalling that instead of just hiring a black model, a magazine could be willing to go to the extreme of painting a white model darker and dressing her in printed clothing and bold jewelry to channel an “African queen.” The result is almost a mockery of blackness instead of a true celebration of it.  Imagine a black girl, painted in white face, in a photo-shoot entitled "European Queen". I see nothing African or Queenlike about that sorry excuse for a photo.  Bottom line is we cannot look to racist to respect the beauty of blackness, we need to create our own glossy mags, celebrating the beautiful people that we know ourselves to be.  Shame on you Numero Mag.  I'll never buy or support such a magazine and I am even sorry that I might be helping to promote it, by bringing attention to this issue.

2.27.2013

The Vanishing Underground









Models Liya Kebede & David Agbodji photographed by Mikael Jansson for an editorial in Vogue Japan, The Vanishing Underground.

2.26.2013

Ugandan Girl 19, Makes Deworming Tablets

"My dream is to become a veterinary doctor but I am also an emerging innovator," says Christine Nanalukwago, the girl behind the research which might lead to discovery of locally-made deworming tablets.  Nanalukwago, 19, currently a senior six student at Kitante Hill School says she hatched the idea of coming up with a solution to parasitic worms in children while staying with her grandmother.
“My grandmother used to give us dried pawpaw seeds to chew when we were still young but we didn’t know the use. But one day, she told us that they expel worms from our bodies,” she says.  Nalukwago says she became inquisitive after her grandma’s revelation and when she joined secondary school where she has access to laboratories, she chose to carry her research forward.  “At first, the results were not good but I kept on trying,” says Nalukwago, who offers Physics, Chemistry, Agriculture and sub-Math as a subject combination.
How it is done
Nalukwago says some of the substances she mixes to develop the ‘drug’ includes; dried pawpaw seeds, sugar and cassava flour or banana flour.
“I mix them in equal quantity and leave them in a clean open place to concentrate. Sometimes the whole process takes a week when there is enough sunshine or two weeks when there is little sunshine,” Nalukwago explains.  She says after final tests in the laboratory, she tried the drug on a worm and it died instantly.  

2.22.2013

PRINCESS OF THE SILVER SCREEN WALLIS

This sunday the 24th of Febuary is the 85th Academy Awards also known as The Oscars and 9 years old Quvenzhane Wallis is the youngest person ever to be nominated.  She is nominated for Best Actress  for her role in the independent film Beast Of The Southern Wild in which she debuted and played the lead character named Hush Puppy. I feel almost like a proud mother and I didn't even give birth to her.  Can you imagine how much pride her mom is beaming with right now?  If you haven't seen Beast Of The Southern Wild, you are terribly missing out on a great movie.  Check out her pictures below taken by photographer Koury Angelo and styled by Laura Mazza for Milk Made Mag.  Cheers!





                      Source: Milk Made

HOW TO FEEL FULFILLED AS AN ARTIST


                     
As an artist, I sometimes self-sabotage and immediately  realize what I am doing is wrong.  I sometimes long for feedbacks from family and friends, only to realize that the only person's validation I need the most, is my own.  Print this and post it in your work area so that you have it as a constant reminder because we sometimes go off track.  Most importantly, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!  Cheers!

Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story

I came across a very inspiring speech by Nigerian (Igbo) author by the name of Chimamanda Adichie.  We need more role models like her.  She is born and raised in Nigeria, attended University in the U S and now splits her time between the two countries.  In 2010 was listed among TheNewYorker's "20 Under 40" Fiction Issue.  She has been called "the most prominent" of a "Procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors [that] is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African Literature.  She's very accomplished for only 35 years of age and truly an inspiration.  Check out her speech below, read her short story titled "You In America" here--->http://www.all-story.com/extra/issue38/adichie.html and Learn more about her on her Wiki page here ->http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimamanda_Ngozi_Adichie.  Cheers!

2.19.2013

GAY LIFE IN UGANDA

Despite the number of countries repealing laws which discriminate against LGBT people, 78 countries around the world maintain laws which makes homosexuality illegal.  With the vote on the Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill set to become public in the coming days, photographer Mathias Christensen met gay people in Uganda who fear for the changing of the law.

"Bad Black" is a transsexual man who has struggled to make a living as a sex worker since his family threw him out of their home because of his sexuality.  His neighbors have threatened to burn down the house in Kampala slum where he and three friends share one room.  He has been imprisoned and tortured by police, and lives in constant fear of police and neighbors


Brian is the leader of the gay community project, Icebreakers.  The project runs a free clinic for LGBT people, and a small shelter for those faced with homelessness.  He abandoned the church because of it's role in supporting "Kill the Gays" bill, but he still believes in God.

 Ema and Simon are a couple living in a shelter for gay people in Kampala.  Their families shunned them when they found out they were gay.

 Cleo is a transexual woman.  She lives in less danger than some of her peers because she has received hormonal treatment to enhance her feminine appearance.

A year ago, Kampala had several gay-friendly bars and clubs.  Today, there's only one gay bar left and it's visitors are certain that it will close when the bill is passed.  This story and pictures were brought to you via "The Guardian".  

2.15.2013

A FEAST TO THE EYES



Pictures have a way of saying a lot without saying anything at all, provoking feelings that sometimes lay dormant.  Here are a few of some of my favorite photos and paintings.  Some of the photographers are not credited because I do no know the source, non of these photos belong to me.

Photograph of Grace Jones
Photographer unknown 


Painting By Bartley

Photographer unknown

By Bartley

Photographer unknown

Photographer unknown

Ntjam Rosie - Love is Calling OFFICIAL VIDEO

Super excited to introduce y'all to 29 years old Ntjam Rosie's new video and song "Love is Calling". As soon as I heard the song, I immediately dug it, her angelic voice and upbeat style was a breath of fresh air.  Although I must admit, I am a partially biased about her because she is a fellow Cameroonian like myself.  Ntjam Rosie launches her partially crowd-funded new album "At the back of beyond" on March 15th on her own label Gentle Daze Records, following her Edison Jazzism Public Award-Nomination 2010 album "Elle". Watch, listen and be your own judge. 

2.11.2013

THE DOOR BY AVA DuVERNAY

The Door, by Ava DuVernay, the fifth Miu Miu Women’s Tale, is a celebration of the transformative power of feminine bonds, and a symbolic story of life change.  The symbolic centre of The Door is the front entrance of the protagonist’s home. As she opens it to greet a friend in the powerfully framed opening scenes, she is shrouded in an oblique sadness. “In the film, characters arrive at the door of a friend in need, bringing something of themselves,” explains director DuVernay. “Eventually, we witness our heroine ready to walk through the door on her own. The door in the film represents a pathway to who we are.”  Clothing is also a symbol of renewal, each change of costume charting our heroine’s emergence from a chrysalis of sadness. In the final scenes, she takes off her ring, pulls on long, black leather gloves, and walks, transformed by the emotive power of the clothing, through the door.  Ava DuVernay was the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at Sundance Film Festival, for her second feature, Middle of Nowhere, in 2012. The Door stars Gabrielle Union, Alfre Woodard, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Adepero Oduye and singer-songwriter Goapele.  Did I mention there is no dialogue?

2.05.2013

Fields Of Dream


Ugandan model Kiara Kabukuru in an editorial for Elle (US) in June 1994 titled ‘Field Of Dreams’ and photographed by Gilles Bensimon in Marrakech, Morocco. This is one of my most favorite fashion editorials as rarely do we see these carefree ‘shoots involving dark-skinned black women, and whenever Western magazines shoot in foreign locations involving local subjects in the ‘shoot, they are often merely used as agent-less props which is not the case in this spread. There’s also the inclusion of Africans of different hues in an African location, which I love. However, I’m yet to discover the name of Kabukuru’s photoshoot partner.

 

Vintage Whoopi Goldberg - Direct From Broadway 1985

I have always admired Whoopi Goldberg as an artist, we met for the first time when I saw her on screen in the movie "Sister Act" in the early nineties.  Although it preceded "Sister Act" only until later did I discover "The Color Purple" which I immediately fell in love with and until this day is one of my top five favorite movies of all time.  Below is her on Broadway doing what I assume to be a One Man or in her case One WOMAN Show.  Whoopi at her finest and just oozing talent.  Hope you like it. oxo Mia