That's exactly what this spread in German Vogue reminded me of. A European woman surrounded by African wildlife and dressed-up in vintage clothing from a time when much of Africa was under colonialist rule. One could say that I have a heightened sense of Africa in a historical context and thus am looking too deeply into the aesthetics of these photographs, or searching for a meaning that isn't there. But how can I not be sensitive to issues concerning Africa?
Unfortunately, I do not understand German and thus cannot make out what the meaning of this shoot is, but going solely on the basis of the title, "Africa Appeal", as an African I do not see anything remotely African or appealing about these photo's. Just because you put wildlife in a photoshoot does not mean that they are representative of Africa. Don't get me wrong, I am proud of the beautiful and diverse fauna and flora that inhabit my continent, but there is so much more to Africa than safari's and savannah's. If they had not referred to "Africa" in the title, believe me, I really would not have given these a second glance or even made such a fuss about it. Title aside, all this spread really looks like is a mundane dress-up 'shoot at the zoo with a model who lacks any form of expression, for the most part. I admire Koto Bolofo's work, but this entire spread is definitely an exception.