This photo series disrupts white spaces with Black Renaissance, pan-africanism & afro-futurism
July 12, 2018
Imagine visuals that combine the fashion and art of the African Diaspora with the excessive and carefree elements of Black, millennial culture. Afrocentric patterns adorn melanated models as they converse and celebrate life. An alluring yet inviting vibe sets the tone of this glorious combination, brought to life in the ‘Afropresentism’ installation by an artist collective in the Soho, London. African Studies student at Yale University, Neema Githere coined the term in an effort to unapologetically affirm cross-culturalism and form a union between all Afro-descendants. Paying homage to our roots, resiliency and forward-thinking obsession, the models featured capture the timelessness of Black creativity in spaces that have been deemed as “classically Western or elite”.
Described as “a digital genre-fusing archival, fine art, documentary practices on and through new media…”, the ideology is the expression of an Afrofuturist, lived reality. It arrives in the wake of anti-immigration efforts and the blatant oppression of Black people across the world. As a result, this project dismisses permission to exist and exalts Blackness by reclaiming the space and time that our legacy vindicated. ‘Afropresentism’ adds to the multi-tiered momentum of the Black Renaissance Movement, all while amplifying Diasporic representation.
Creative Director: TOBI ONABOLU (@tobionabolu)
Tobi Onabolu (b. 1993) is a British-Nigerian creative who takes particular interest in African cultures, in relation to fashion, music, and art. He currently lives in London where he pursues an MA in African Studies at SOAS University of London.
Photographer / Co-Director: ETHEL TAWE (@artofetheltawe)
Ethel-Ruth Tawe (b. 1994) is a Cameroonian self-taught multidisciplinary artist with a keen interest in alternate realities, identity, nomadic and diasporic cultures. She currently lives between the Netherlands and the UK where she pursues an MSc in Development Studies at SOAS University of London, with a particular interest in African Studies.
Fashion Coordinator: MORENIKEJI AYO-JOSEPH (@kejikiefer)
Morenikeji Ayo-Joseph (b. 1995) is a Nigerian-born creative specialising in fashion. She currently lives between Lagos and London where she pursues an MSc in Migration, Mobility, and Development at SOAS University of London, with a keen interest in the African diaspora.
Models: Sihine Negede, Sarah Owusu, Kaleke Kolawole, Sarah Nugdalla, Cecilia Aina, Jackie Esono, Neema Githere, Wale Kuponipe, Samuel Nzol, Tano Mousset, Maximus Poumie, Elisha Tawe, Melvin Osadolor, Modou Adams, Nathan Knight
Video Production: Vassou Ourouho