Originally titled Crazy Boy, Tanlume Enyatseng explained that changing the title to Buying Black as it makes an unswerving political link to the theoretical scaffolding that he used to construct the creative concept for the editorial. The shoot was inspired by the book “Capitalist Nigger” by Chika Onyeani – a controversial book which provides Onyeani’s assessment on the deficit in African countries. Enyatseng, the curator of Botswana-based blog, Banana Emoji, highlights Onyeani’s emphasis on consumerism.
Enyatseng advocates the need for people of colour to become independent, but the photographs for Buying Black poke fun at Onyeani’s claims that people of colour are completely dependent on others, and so are simply consumers of commodities.
Taking place in the up-market gated community, Louieville in Gabarone, the styling choices for the shoot were influenced by ’90s and early 2000s American hip hop culture, as well as Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet. When asked about what holds all of his creative work together Enyatseng explained that, “The majority of what impacts my work is film. Film is life, it breathes, it sweats, it cries, it drips, it pulsates, and it lives.” This can clearly be seen in the way the photographs have been edited. The portraits have the markings of film strips on their sides, and all the images have the texture of old film features.
To check out more of Tanlume Enyatseng’s work visit Banana Emoji.
Creative Direction and Styling by Tanlume Enyatseng
Photography by Giancarlo Calaméo LaGuerta