Van Gestel, Eddy - AFRICAN QUEEN, Eddy van Gestel photographs

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Titel: AFRICAN QUEEN, Eddy van Gestel photographs
Uitgever: BE, het bronzen huis, 2015
Bijzonderheden: Hardcover,Sizes: 31 x 38 cm - Number of pages: 200 with very nice photographs on good paper !. ISBN 9789075756999.
Prijs: € 65,00
Verzendkosten: € 5,99 (binnen België)
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During my long stay in Africa, I came to look at African women in a different light. Not just because of their beauty, their elegance, and their sensuality. African men may well foster the illusion that they are the kings, an illusion is after all just that an illusion. The real cornerstones of African society, carved out of hard granite, are the women. Hard labour. Having children and raising them. Making a living and raking, raking and raking some more to keep your head above water. A little stall with three bunches of bananas, pineapple cut into strips, a handful of potatoes. A coin is money too, and those who save them might perhaps be able to pay the school fees. Maybe. The master of the house looks on passively, like an additional child, a little unsteady on his feet from being out all night. Where women gather, the talk turns to men and their odd ways. Like sisters the women whisper, listen, comfort, and encourage. But still. And yet they remain women first and foremost, a feeling so strong, stronger than the issues of the day it seems. Would it be an exaggeration to say that the need to feel desirable is a universal trait? Because in spite of the struggle for life African women want to be beautiful, appeal to the other sex, be young and stay young. There's not an ounce of difference between the countryside and the city. Hairdressing is a lucrative business there. No stone is left unturned in the battle against transience. Even there. Are they after the attention of men, of whom they have very little good to say? Surely not And life went on like this, without any important accelerations. Until the advent of the internet and smartphones. The world has become a village. A cliche that became a cliche because it?s true. What remained hidden before, has now become visible. In many respects, this new outlook on the world has changed and accentuated the desires of African women at lightning speed. It turned out that what the world has to offer exceeds even a child?s wildest dreams. Suddenly the clothes they had always worn, looked like rags. Black models like Alek Wek, Ajuma Nasenyana, and ? although not African ? Naomi Campbell dazzled on the international catwalks. Showing off their beautiful bodies, gleaming like ebony, ambassadors of millions of women in the black continent, they became a source of inspiration. And so they started to dream. Of a life far away from the pots and pans in tiny huts in tiny villages. Seen through those new eyes, their old lives seemed so small, so far removed from the glamour and the flashing cameras. A new era was born. It opened the eyes of many women to the beauty of their own bodies, and encouraged them to show it. To a greater or lesser degree, but always uncomplicated. But with the dreams came ambitions. Ambitions for a life out of the shadow of men, and freedom from the dominance of background. Studies are now approached differently. They are begun for different reasons and with other goals in mind. Why would what?s possible in other corners of the world, like Europe and America, not apply to them? Why allow exploitation? You can feel that the men are beginning to brace themselves, to dig in their heels. It?s a privilege to observe how these women are shaking off their chains, how the humble, downcast eyes of yesteryear are now filled with self-confidence. A work in progress, to be sure, but this has only just started. Here we are! ?African Queen? is like a dream. A drowsy ode to African beauties, tumbling over the present to the past and back again. Surreal like all dreams. It?s about tom-toms and Vogue, top models and women en route, lugging firewood on their heads, their eyes filled with a recent past when the world still had to discover the black continent. Look at how they have prettied themselves up to have their picture taken!
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Van Gestel, Eddy - AFRICAN QUEEN,   Eddy van Gestel photographs

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