Posted by: Dr. Y. | January 6, 2015

Omar Victor Diop and Project Diaspora

Omar Victor Diop, posing as Don Miguel de Castro (1643)  who was part of a delegation sent by a ruler of Sonho in Congo to the Netherlands via Brazil (Source: Omar Victor Diop, Omarviktor.com)

Omar Victor Diop, posing as Don Miguel de Castro (1643) who was part of a delegation sent by a ruler of Sonho in Congo to the Netherlands via Brazil (Source: Omar Victor Diop, Omarviktor.com)

I was impressed by photographer Omar Victor Diop‘s latest work. His Project Diaspora is a self-portrait mimic of original paintings of notable African men in European history, while using football equipment as props.  With this work, Diop tries to explore his own development as an artist, but also to rectify misconceptions of an all-white Europe by highlighting accurate African presence in Europe in the 15th through 19th century. Thereby demonstrating that Africans in Europe in the 15-19th centuries were not only slaves, but also noblemen, as seen on real paintings he found in museums and archives across Europe!

Young Alexander Pushkin

Young Alexander Pushkin

See how our views have been distorted for so long? It means that from 1400s until 1800s there were African noblemen, generals, etc (like the Ghanaian professor in Germany Anton-Wilhelm Amo in the 1700s, or General Gannibal the grandfather of the celebrated Russian poet Alexander Pushkin) in Europe! Imagine that! Africans were not just slaves, but noblemen, and much more! I simply love it. Please people, take a look at Omar Victor Diop’s Project Diaspora, his website omarviktor.com, and this article on Okayafrica.com and rediscover some history through his modern depictions of the past.


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