"Prejudice or discrimination especially within a racial or ethnic group favouring people with lighter skin over those with darker skin"
Caroline Chinakwe's 2nd art series, titled "Colourism," was directly influenced by the 2020 BLM movement sparked by the murder of George Floyd and the global demand for racial equality. As a Black female artist and mother of three, the artist felt a strong urge to use her art as a platform for change and address issues that could promote positive societal changes, particularly when it came to racial justice.
While the idea of eradicating racism altogether seemed improbable, the issue of Colourism, which refers to the discrimination black people face within their own community based on skin tone, with lighter shades being preferred over darker ones, remains a prevalent problem that can be changed.
The skin bleaching industry is worth a staggering £7.2b, and many Black women and men go to dangerous and life-threatening lengths to change the colour of their skin to fit into the Western beauty standards. The new "Colourism" collection explores this harsh reality and invites viewers to appreciate the beauty of all skin tones.
The 12-piece collection showcases portraits of colourfully adorned women collaged using various features and skin tones from different women, set against vibrant, exotic wallpaper backgrounds. Caroline's unique use of fashion styling and beauty as a way to highlight this sombre and often overlooked issue is a contrast in itself, but it urges viewers to question society's preference for lighter skin tones and the unconscious bias that it fosters.
This collection aims to encourage viewers to initiate conversations about skin tone bias, understand its history and present in today's society, and the harm it continues to cause while striving to unite people of all races and colours.