this photo series uses black girl magic as a form of decolonizing institutions

May 2, 2018
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It’s not every day that black women are treated with the reverence that we deserve. But in this photo series, ‘An Ode to Her Excellence’, creative director Tobi Onabolu and photographer/editor Ethel-Ruth Tawe hope to illuminate an alternative vision of black womanhood, one that usually visual allusions to posh, privileged, Oxford society-types we’ve seen in black and white photos. Subverting the white hegemony of these historic photos and taking specific aim at the notorious “Bullingdon Club, an epitome of quintessential British misogyny and elitism, the series satirizes power structures with the help of students from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Paying homage to the legacy of the Black Panther Party through styling, ‘Ode To her Excellence’ is an outright rebellion against upper-crust white privilege bullshit, and we are livvvving.


Creative Direction: ( @tobionabolu )
Tobi Onabolu 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.


Photography & Editing: ( @artofetheltawe )
Ethel-Ruth Tawe is a visual artist with a keen interest in identity politics, understandings of various realities, 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.