Victorians of the Desert

13/03/2013 § 5 Comments

Jim Naughten Jim Naughten Jim Naughten Jim Naughten Jim Naughten Jim Naughten Jim Naughten Jim Naughten Jim Naughten Jim Naughten Jim Naughten Jim Naughten

Photographer Jim Naughten‘s amazing portraits of the Herero people of Namibia are currently on display at Margaret Street Gallery in London, as part of an exhibit called “Conflict and Costume,” which you definitely should not miss, should you be in the area. It looks to be an exceptionally thought-provoking examination of the intersection of colonialism, culture, tradition, fashion and identity. The beautiful portraits, starkly posed against the barren Namibian desert, closely focus on the tribe’s unique costume — Victorian era dresses for the women, German paramilitary uniforms for the men. Adopted from their colonizers, and slowly personalized with ethnic textiles and the “cow horn” headdresses you see on the women (the Herero people are pastoralists and place high value on their livestock), the Herero tribe honors their warrior ancestors by continuing this sartorial tradition to present day.

Luckily, for those of us unable to make it to London,
you can purchase Naughten’s book here.

Jim Naughten: Conflict and Costume
Runs through April 13, 2013
Margaret Street Gallery
63 Margaret Street
London
W1W 8SW

**UPDATE**  I’ve just been alerted that there is a simultaneous NYC Naughten exhibit at the Klompching Gallery in Brooklyn, running through May 4, 2013!  In fact, the opening reception is tomorrow night (Thursday, March 14, 6 to 8pm)!  Considering that the price for me to view these portraits just dropped from a transatlantic flight to subway fare, there’s no chance I’ll be missing them!

Jim Naughten: Conflict and Costume
Klompching Gallery
111 Front Street, Suite 206
Brooklyn
11201

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