The African Lookbook

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In The African Lookbook, curator Catherine E. McKinley draws on her extensive collection of historical and contemporary photographs to present a visual history spanning a hundred-year arc (1870-1970) of what is among the earliest photography on the continent. These images tell a different story of African women to the exotica, war and poverty we may be used to: how deeply cosmopolitan and modern they are in their style; how they were able to reclaim the tools of the colonial oppression that threatened their selfhood and livelihoods. Featuring works by celebrated African masters, African studios of local legend and anonymous artists, The African Lookbook captures the dignity, playfulness, austerity, grandeur, and fantasy-making of African women across centuries. McKinley also features photos by Europeans revealing the relationships between white men and the Black female sitters where, at best, a grave power imbalance lies. The photographs in this book tell the story of how the sewing machine and the camera became powerful tools for women's self-expression, revealing a truly glorious display of everyday beauty.

Pages

240

Dimensions

17.45cm x 2.57cm x 23.04cm

ISBN

9781620403532

Product code

163948

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About the exhibition
africa-fashion

Africa Fashion

Spanning iconic mid-20th century to contemporary creatives through photographs, textiles, music and the visual arts, Africa Fashion will explore the vitality and global impact of a fashion scene as dynamic and varied as the continent itself.