Hungarian journalist slammed for seven types of blackface
A Hungarian human rights lawyer and journalist who published a controversial series of portraits transposing her own face on to those of African women has been forced to remove her work after sparking widespread anger online.
Boglarka Balogh posted the project I Morphed Myself Into Tribal Women To Raise Awareness Of Their Secluded Cultures in late December, writing that the portraits set out to celebrate “stunning tribal beauties at the brink of extinction”.
Boglarka Balogh 去年12月发布了这个名为“将自己打扮成部落女人，走进她们的部落文化”的计划，其中写到她陈列这些照片是为了赞美这些“濒临灭绝又令人叹为观止的部落之美”。
But the photographs were taken down today after a series of satirical articles and angry blogs drew attention to the work described as offensive, patronising and narcissistic.
“You can practically feel the ignorance washing over you like those firehoses they turned on black protesters back in the good old days,” said Kara Brown on an article headlined World Weeps in Gratitude for Woke Hungarian Who Did 7 Types of Blackface to Save Africa From Going Extinct.
Balogh wrote that she had traveled through “various African countries where I became fully aware of the issues regarding a number of endangered tribes, and the speed at which they are fading away”.
She worked with graphic artist Csaba to transpose her own image onto striking portraits of members of the Wodaabe, Daasanach, Arbore, Mursi, Turkana, Karo and Himba communities. Each set of images was accompanied by information on the living circumstances and the traditional costumes of the dwindling groups.
But commenters on the Bored Panda blog post, which received more than 130,000 views before being removed, condemned her use of blackface.
A woman who claims to be Turkana addressed Balogh directly: “This is not your history. Stay in your own lane,” she said. Another commenter said: “This is cultural appropriation, and even though your efforts may have been in good faith, I find that your own photos are taking away from the beauty of what you are trying to showcase.”
Balogh did not reply to requests for comment, but wrote on the deleted page: “Since I had no intentions to offend anyone and yet I’m not able to answer to all of you, I’ve decided to delete my post.
“My intention was 100% pure with this tribal art, being a human right [sic] lawyer and journalist who knows pretty much about racism and similar issues. I have never imagined that my work will annoy so many people and that I will have to explain myself. And sure, I will not do that. Keep calm and love every human.”