THE SHUTTERED GHANAIAN
“ THE SHUTTERED GHANAIAN is my first collective of a miscellany of unique Ghanaian portraits shot in Accra, Ghana.
I have always had a creative side. Picking up a camera just helped me to express it more. I’m on a journey with my creative self to portray my heart. I believe in the art of photography and not the science of it. It is my desire to document my time, in a way which would be remembered even in the minutest way or through the most simplest ways.”.
Potraits from South African photographer Andrew Putter’s ethnographic series Native Work which consists of 21 photographs of black Capetonians photographed in black-and-white dressed in various traditional Xhosa attire, each of a particular significance, juxtaposed against colour photographs of the same individuals wearing casual Western garments.
The series undoubtedly carries a heavy colonial framing demonstrated in the nature of Putter’s black-and-white anthropological-like portraits that resemble modern-day versions of colonial postcards that became a norm in colonized lands around the world. This concerning element in Putter’s series is also made more problematic through the racial dynamics of a white photographer in South Africa photographic black ‘subjects’, as well as in the title of this work, which, despite Putter’s admission and recognition of this element of his series, is not something that can entirely be dismissed.
Native Work is a highly intriguing visual framework that provokes the consciousness of the viewer to consider the critical and historical role of photography and the photographer, in both the colonial and post-colonial context, as well as the forced transitional process that colonized populations underwent that violently compromised and stripped them of various foundational elements of their identities.
‘Cognizant of the dangers inherent in Duggan-Cronin’s colonial, ethnographic approach to making images, Native Work nevertheless recognises an impulse of tenderness running through his project,’ writes Putter in an article about his project published recently in the journal Kronos: Southern African Histories. ‘By trusting this impulse in Duggan-Cronin’s photographs, Native Work attempts to provoke another way of reading these images, and to use them in the making of new work motivated by the desire for social solidarity, a desire which emerges as a particular kind of historical possibility in the aftermath of apartheid.’
By exploring his own complex feelings towards an ideologically tainted but aesthetically compelling visual archive, Putter enters the fraught terrain of ethnographic representation to wrestle with himself about his own complicity, as an artist and a white South African, in this troubled visual legacy. Art critic Alex Dodd writes that this new work ‘constitutes one of those rare instances in which it becomes unmistakably clear to the viewer that the primacy of authorial intention has everything to do with the subtle alchemy that determines the meaning and affective power of images. In this case, the immense respect and tenderness that went into the making of the photographs registers visually as a kind of auratic quality of dignity that shines through each and every portrait.’
Melodie Monrose and Kone Sindou in Retro Fitted by Mariano Vivanco for US Elle, April 2013.
Melodie always kills me
crouching tiger, hidden dragon wasn’t
our one shot at love.
it’s the precursor
of what’s to come.
“oh, hey, it’s cool to like these asian people, as long as they’re being asian on the big screen, and they’re in asia, and it’s a long time ago, and they’re speaking asian (thank god for subtitles), and they’re fighting and i love fighting, but some of it seems a bit far-fetched—thank goodness i saw keanu reeves do that shit first in the matrix, and who cares if they’re kissing, as long as they’re kissing other asians, i have nothing to worry about.”?
wrong, motherfucker, ‘cuz we’re not just on the big screen in the kung fu flicks you adore, we’re the ones who actually saw that film 5 fucking times at 9 bucks a pop, ‘cuz we were amazed that our faces weren’t on the big screen fighting in the vietnam war, and we’re not just on the big screen lady from oregon. we’re cleaning your clothes, we’re programming your websites, and we’re getting into your schools—for free. raise the bar and we’ll meet it. and we’re not just chinese. and most of the chinese are reading the subtitles, too, ‘cuz it’s in mandarin. and we’re not just kissing other asians. our mad sexy asses are getting play all over the ethnic spectrum- how the fuck do you think rob schneider, the rock, and keanu reeves were made? and you know what? it’s never gonna stop.
the asian invasion is a reality, and we fuck so good it’s only gonna get bigger.
bigger than chinese on t-shirts,
take out in the mall,
bigger than play station 2,
tai kwon do,
and dots on foreheads.
bigger than honda,
and east asian studies minors.
you asked for
a global economy,
well, “so solly,”?
if it blows up in your face
and goes beyond
trying to get
a billion chinese on AOL,
in their gap khaki’s.
am i ranting? fuck yeah.
and you’re not
shutting me up
until the egg roll is recognized
as an american food!
am i preaching to the choir?
you enlightened, going to the poetry readings, listening to the gooks
are not the honkeys
i’m trying to scare- i love you people.
my dirty chinese/ japanese knees
are going for the
throat of suburbia,
where confederate flags are raised,
where the mtv spring breakers are found,
christian clubs overrun high schools.
i got a chip on me shoulder
the size of
24 years of being
underrepresented, lumped into a group,
made to feel inadequate
and i’ve had enough!
i’ve got a non-specific game plan
that is currently just really angry
and will be better thought out later,
so rise up
my gooky slope chink japo flip slanties!
the highest per capita income group
in this country
must realize the political power of this
in a nation
built on moolah.
i’m not saying eliminate anyone,
i’m not a racist-
you are, texas!
let’s give them
the melting pot
america’s always talked about,
and watch hair get darker,
eyes get smaller,
and everyone fuck
that much better.
These photos are of Dreamers, children of immigrants without documents for this country, who were brought to the United States and never knew they were “illegal,” reuniting with their deported parents through a border wall in Nogales, Arizona.
If you have any reaction to these photos other than empathy, I don’t really want to know.
VOGUE Netherlands July 2013: Kinée Diouf
Editor: Karin Swerink
Amazing photos of Gaza taken by Eman Mohammed
Members of Congress are living off food stamps for a week to protest Republican cuts. It’s a challenge for them, but GOP cuts would hurt millions of everyday Americans.
My friend Heather just posted this on FB and I was digging her commentary:
“I get what they are trying to do, but I really, REALLY need them to stop doing it. This is starting to feel like a Congressional “Pimps & Hoes” party. EVERYONE can live on food stamps for a *week*. Hell, they even made a catchy SONG about it. It’s the TWENTY-FIRST of the month that’s a muthaf*cker. ( Or the Twenty -First Month on assistance, like the millions of American households that are at risk while they play reindeer games with public policy.)”
What I don’t get is how rich people can make the laws and then have no idea about how it’s going to impact those they’re legislating about.