Beyond the feminine: The politics of skin colour and gender in visual representations

Lori, Ope (2019) Beyond the feminine: The politics of skin colour and gender in visual representations. Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781788315036 (In Press)

Abstract

‘Beyond The Feminine: The Politics of Skin Colour and Gender in Visual Representations’ is a textbook tool kit, which looks at the normative constructions of race and gender in visual representations and the politics of the gaze and how contemporary image-makers can challenge these readings, through the production and theorization of alternate images. As a strategy, Lori uses one overarching case study: the black and white female dichotomy and their uneven distribution of power, afforded to how they are both seen to appear in visual representations on screen. From the controversy that surrounded the blacking up of a mixed-heritage Latin-American actress Zoe Saldana in playing legendary dark- skinned Soul singer Nina Simone in Nina 2013, to the privileging of using light and white women over dark and black women in Black British music videos and the advertising of black women’s’ hair products, to a return to classic paintings such as Manet’s Olympia; this book encounters the historical trope head on and re-visions another narrative. Through acts of appropriation, subversion and inversion and ultimately aiming to transcend these power dynamics related to the look, Lori as artist-researcher takes an interdisciplinary approach in offering up practical, visual strategies in encountering difference through the lens.

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