Controversy around blackface – An opinion of Sisonke Msimang
The project of journalist Boglarka Balogh was to raise awareness for seven African secluded cultures endangered by changes of the modern world. Thus, she decided to transpose her own face into photographs of seven African women, involuntarily performing an act perceived as blackface.
Though she didn’t intend to laugh of black people by copying their look as a mockery, which is the aim of blackface, critics forced the Hungarian journalist to remove her work from her website. Still, many people don’t understand why these photographs are offensive.
South African writer, Sisonke Msimang, tries to explain why, beyond good intention, the cultural background of racism against black people, especially through blackface performance, led people to describe this work as racist and insulting.
By taking the example of an alien fully unaware of human history and conflicts, she shows the effort at understanding to produce to apprehend why black people may be offended by blackface.
For her, no form of blackface should be tolerated due to the racially motivated origins of this act. The journalist shouldn’t have been ignorant of this history considering that blackface is still strongly related to this part of the history of racism and discriminations against black people.
To read the full article, see here.
"Il devient absolument urgent de mettre un terme à cette injustice. Il y a un manque de connaissances et de recherches. Il faut donc promouvoir le recueil de témoignages, mais aussi construire des mémoriaux, organiser des expositions..." - @BenjaminAbtan