It’s past time the Africa is viewed as more than a place to go on safaris or exam tribes living in wildernesses. I would absolutely love to see a campaign that destroys these clichés…
Africa has since been an inspiration in the world of fashion and photography. Many editorials have featured the golden deserts, dusty streets and wildernesses of Africa as backdrops to their editorials and fashion campaigns. The trend has even picked up speed lately and shows no signs of abating… yet. A common sight as well is one or more tribal men (hardly ever are women used, you see) hanging onto the alluring model. Either way it’s done, the editorials often look rich and golden.
But the thing is, even though the number of Western photographers and stylists that are looking towards Africa as a whole to provide scenery for their campaigns, most come out monotonous – as if Africa has only one kind of scenery to offer. It really doesn’t help either that the tribal men that pose around the models are mostly the highly photographed Massai. Seriously, are they the only interesting tribe on the entire continent? In the end, even though these campaigns come out ‘rich’ and golden (a lovely side-effect of the amazing African sunset), they all end up looking one-dimensional.
To be honest, a couple of editorials do the same thing differently. For example, Global view by Marie Claire Australia simply featured ‘hanging out’ with the locals while another by Kookai Australia showed the model smack in the middle of a colourful Moroccan marketplace.
It’s past time the Africa is viewed as more than a place to go on safaris or exam tribes living in wildernesses. I would absolutely love to see a campaign that destroys these clichés and takes the western view of Africa to a whole other level with different concepts, different tribes and different sceneries, perhaps feature the many waterfalls, rich forests, cultural townships, countless other tribes and even the many cosmopolitan African cities that abound.
These campaigns are a great way to globally showcase Africa and the lovely vistas she offers, so why not encourage these companies to take advantage of that?
Adiya Atuluku is a Management Consultant by day and an African Creativity Blogger by night…and weekends. She is very passionate about art and style, especially when they have a strong African focus. She blogs at www.museorigins.net
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.
Follow @ynaija on Twitter