This week’s Photogenie theme is titled "Colour Code". Through visual stories, our curators concern themselves with topics such as race and skin colour.
‘We still live in a world where the colour of your skin not only gives a first impression, but a lasting impression that remains’. With these words, photographer Angélica Dass immediately captivates the attention of her audience during her TEDTalks presentation.
Dass, born in Brazil, comes from a family of a wide variety of colours. Her dark skinned father was adopted by a ‘white’ couple and her mother had a rather ‘coffee’ skin tone. In this diverse environment, she was initially unaware of all the indirect meanings associated with the colour of someone’s skin. However, growing up this quickly changed.
When she married a Spaniard with a rather uncommon reddish skin tone people around her asked ‘what will be the colour of your children you think?’. This speculation about what her children would look like, made her realize the infinite range of different skin tones and in 2012 she started photographing all kinds of people from all over the world in her project ‘humanae’.
Angélica took the skin tone of the subjects’ noses and used this colour as the background for their portraits. ‘Using this scale, I am sure that nobody is ‘black,’ and absolutely nobody is ‘white’… these kinds of concepts that we used in the past are completely nonsense’.
She now has photographed around 4000 people in 17 different countries and 27 different cities. By looking at all the portraits combined you can clearly see people are not simply ‘white’, ‘black’ or ‘yellow’ but a wide range of beautiful different colours.
Humanae quickly gained a lot of popularity and praise from all over the world, her portraits have been displayed in galleries, on the streets in various cities and have been picked up by news outlets like Human Affairs and Vogue, looking at all these beautiful images you can easily understand why!
About the artist: Angélica Dass was born in 1979 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and is currently based in Madrid. She is most notably known by her project Humanae that has since then been picked up by various museums and even organizations like UNESCO, World Economic Forum and National Geographic. In addition, she has given lectures at institutions like the University of Salamanca, the University of Bologna, and the UERJ. This success has allowed her to fund the Humanae Institute, a non-profit aimed to praise and honour diversity through education.
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Written by Max Zarzoso Hueck