35mm film| vinyl print

In some parts of the world, people do not go out during the day to avoid direct sun contact, while in other parts of the world people travel to bask in the sun. Recreational sun tanning is associated with wealth and beauty. There are no negative social and psychological implications attached to the practice. It is temporary and does not convey the idea of rejection of one’s whiteness. Skin bleaching – stripping away the melanin in the skin in order to become fairer – is a phenomenon that stems from colonialism and slavery. Lighter skin is associated with greater standards of beauty, affluence, and privilege. The stripping of the melanin causes thinning of the skin, which makes the skin susceptible to skin cancer. It’s important to note that those who bleach are still faced with negative social consequences and cannot escape the backlash. In Sudan, women who bleach their skin layer on clothes, wear socks and gloves in the midst of 40° C weather to avoid the sun. Within Sudanese culture, the tradition of concealing one’s skin is an indication of modesty and religious practice, but in reality, some women cover up to protect their skin from the sun.

While there are many layers to this work, the Beach photos were captured during a moment of perplexity. Being the only person of colour sunbathing on a beach in Montenegro evoked memories and stories of friends avoiding the sun, in Sudan and Canada.

Using Format