Two photographers have tackled Hollywood’s diversity problem by recasting iconic onscreen characters with fierce black models. Senegalese Omar Victor Diop and French-American Antoine Tempé teamed up in 2013 for a project called [re-]Mixing Hollywood, with the aim of using classic American and European films to create more dynamic images of African people.
“Cinema is probably the form of art that is the most universal, as it transcends all barriers, be they geographic, cultural, or racial,” Diop and Tempé write in their artist manifesto. It’s this idea that drives the series — that cinema should be inclusive for all, not just those in the West.
The result is a startling series made up of 20 images captured in Senegal and the Ivory Coast. The photos include remixes classic scenes from “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” and “The Matrix,” with African models channeling Audrey Hepburn and Keanu Reeves.
In an interview with CNN, Diop explained that he and Tempé “started working with the movies we liked, the movies that had influenced us.” From there, the pair thought of ways to not just create identical copies of their favorite films, but to add a distinctly African twist.
So while Diop, for instance, draws inspiration from Mena Suvari’s memorable “American Beauty” dream sequence, instead of roses his Senagalese model is covered in green leaves. In Tempé’s reimagining of the classic Uma Thurman poster for “Pulp Fiction,” his model is rocking a blunt, braided bob.
Although the series first debuted in 2013, it has continued to garner attention for its bold take on familiar favorites. The most exciting part about the project is the possibility that it could spark actual on screen reimiaginings one day.
View more images from the series below:
For more information on [re-]Mixing Hollywood, go to www.remixing-hollywood.com.
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