There are certain depictions of African life we in the West are all too accustomed to seeing: Images of poverty, violence and corruption conjure a one-note vision of an abject space that fails to capture the complexity bubbling beneath the surface.
Photographer Fabrice Monteiro, however, captures up a very different vision of Africa, one in which beauty, debris, danger and hope are closely interwoven. His Afrofuturist images predict a post-Apocalyptic future, where garbage and rubble are transformed into intricate, brilliant garments, serving as warning to future generations.
This summer with Haute Africa, Noorderlicht Photogallery sheds light on the sunny side of the African continent. From 5 July through 31 August, seven photographers show a different Africa: a continent that still defies the imagination, and a place where creativity can bring prosperity. This flourishing African creativity finds no better expression than in fashion.
Haute Africa shows work by photographers who are not so much interested in African fashion in itself, but rather carry out an anthropological research into contemporary African clothing culture. Various African countries such as the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia have a well-functioning economy; South Africa is even an important global player. First and foremost, these countries have the exploitation of Africa’s rich natural resources to thank for their progress, yet the creative, sustainable economies are also gradually starting to grow.
The fashion industry is an important exponent of this creative industry. Many African designers, entrepreneurs and photographers inspire the world with new designs that convey and renew African identity. This evolution hasn’t escaped the attention of artists and photographers. Through clothing culture they gauge the convictions, thoughts and feelings of its wearers, or the history of a particular place. They take a look at topics such as Westernization, post-colonialism, race, gender equality, religious beliefs or political power relations. From this angle, Haute Africa shows how clothing culture conveys and renews African identity without averting its eyes from an otherwise often bitter reality.
37thSTATE and Haute Fashion Africa Launch New 'Haute Tv' Web Series 'FRONTIER FASHION'
This week sees the launch of a web series from Haute Tv and 37th State focusing on the movements of prominent Nigerians in the fashion industry.
Frontier Fashion will enlighten and educate viewers on the progress and influences these individuals hold both home and abroad. It also seeks to show their thought processes and inspirations in a bid to illuminate the inner workings of the industry.
The series will air throughout the year as they traverse the globe compiling beautifully shot visuals charting the life and times of frontier fashionistas.