Style

This Week In Photos: Amarachi Nwosu

OkayAfrica contributor Amarachi Nwosu shares photos from an editorial that reshapes the notion of gender norms through imagery.

This is the fifth installment of our weekly photo series, featuring the work of African photographers.


This week, we feature the work from OkayAfrica contributor and prolific creative, Amarachi Nwosu.

Nwosu gives us images from the editorial shot on location in Nigeria, Formless, where she hopes to reshape norms pertaining gender roles and also the mainstream idea of African culture and design through imagery.

In collaboration with stylist Daniel Obasi featuring designs from Orange Culture, Iamsigo, Gozel Green and Maxive, Nwosu and Obasi want Flawless to show the beauty of African culture and connect with a diverse audience.

I had Nwosu comment on her creative process with this editorial, because she just drops gems for days:

"Fashion photography is very unique because it is a genre that really allows you to have control over the direction and overall vision behind images. Unlike my photojournalism work, my fashion based shoots tend to involve a team of people, so it's really important to work with people who understand the direction and bring something unique to the table. I chose to work with Daniel because his projects always tell a unique story and his styling blurs gender lines, which I feel is very unique to see in Nigeria.

I had put together mood boards weeks in advance because I really wanted their body movement to evoke emotion and tell a story. Luckily, the models already had a great sense of movement and they were able to bring it alive exactly how I envisioned.

We also wanted to choose a natural location with a minimal backdrop to bring more attention to the details of the clothing and silhouettes. The one element that I stressed to Daniel prior to the shoot was use of color. I want color to be a common theme in my work because I love the way it contrast and brings attention to an image. For me, color makes people, environments and details come alive.

Overall, it was an amazing team that was able to make this editorial what it was. From the make up to styling to models, we were able to build off of one another and elevate the imagery.

Take a look at Flawless below:

Female Look: Iamsigo. Male Look: Iamsigo pants and jacket. Gozel Green top. Photo by Amarachi Nwosu.

Female Look: Orange culture top, Orange culture shorts (inside), Gozel Green Skirt. Male Look: Orange Culture top, Iamsigo pants (inside), Gozel Green Skirt. Photo by Amarachi Nwosu.

Female Look: Iamsigo Fringe top, Gozel Green Dress. Male Look: Gozel Green bluse, Maxive shorts. Photo by Amarachi Nwosu.

Female Look: Iamsigo. Male Look: Iamsigo pants and jacket. Gozel Green top. Photo by Amarachi Nwosu.

Female Look: Orange Culture top, Orange Culture shorts (inside), Gozel Green Skirt. Male Look: Orange Culture top, Iamsigo pants (inside), Gozel Green Skirt. Photo by Amarachi Nwosu.

Female Look: Iamsigo Fringe top, Gozel Green Dress. Male Look: Gozel Green bluse, Maxive shorts. Photo by Amarachi Nwosu.

Credits

Photographer: Amarachi Nwosu (@amaraworldwide)

Stylist: Daniel Obasi (@Iamdasidy)

Makeup Artist: Kemi Awoemi (@j0rdanna)

Male Model: Chima Boluwatife of MSA Models (@justifiedchima)

Female Model: Ifeoma Nwobu (@ifeoma_nwobu)

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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