Vivian Sassen's Photographic Survey of Visual Africa is Gorgeous

By: Helen Picard - Mar 28, 2014
References: vivianesassen
In her recent photography series, Viviane Sassen uses light and dark shadows to create a visual Africa through photography that question perceptions of African identity. Sassen describes the series as her "white period." Her provocative title makes a statement about Western perceptions of Africa as a general, impersonal identity. The obscured faces and shadowy figures speak to the Western tendency to group Africans into a single culture or identity.

Sassen accomplishes this statement series with visual finesse, offering viewers a broad palate of visual flavors, from lush flowers and gardens to stark city landscapes, dusty pickups and concrete walls. Most photos are lit by brutal midday light, allowing stark contrast between dark shadows and highlighted colors, adding to the symbolism of blinded perception.