Graduate student Ng’endo Mukii gave folks at the Royal College of Arts in London pause for the cause with her thesis film, Yellow Fever. The ten-minute film is an exquisite exploration of race, gender and beauty regimens told through the intimate perspectives of her Kenyan mother and young niece.
The film mixes media into what Mukii calls an “almost schizophrenic self-visualization,” employing her study in animation, photography and ethnography. The result is a sincere and stunning composition that examines how African women think about skin bleaching, hair extensions, body image and western pop culture.
I am interested in the concept of skin and race, and what they imply; in the ideas and theories sown into our flesh that change with the arc of time. I believe skin and the body, are often distorted into a topographical division between reality and illusion. The idea of beauty has become globalised, creating homogenous aspirations, and distorting people’s self-image across the planet.
Mukii is definitely on our radar. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.