“We were fascinated by the rich diversity of Latin America and the Latinx diaspora experience and wanted to address expectations of what Latinx means,” say the organisers behind Mundo Latinx, an exhibition of Latin American work going on show in London. “This exhibition coincides with challenging times in the global political climate when it is particularly important to highlight identity politics and diverse representation.”
A multimedia show, featuring work by film-makers, illustrators, and fashion designers as well as photographers, Mundo Latinx includes work by contemporary image-makers such as Diego Moreno from Mexico and Brecho Replay from Brazil, whose projects challenge notions of Latin American identity and beauty. Mundo Latinx is on show at the Fashion Space Gallery at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, and is organised by White Line Projects, a group of London College of Fashion, UAL MA Fashion Curation alumni which was founded by Fiona McKay and Xenia Capacete Caballero.
Nadine Ijewere has been interested in fashion imagery since she was a girl but it wasn’t until she studied photography at the London College of Fashion that she began to pick up on some of its more unsettling undertones – particularly the stereotypes used in the portrayal of non-Western cultures. The Misrepresentation of Representation, an early project that she completed at university reflected on Orientalism and how it came to rigidly define certain cultures for a Western audience.
“This is one of my good friends Dapper,” Olivia Rose points out, as we pore over the many strikingly wistful close-ups that fill her portfolio. “He was arrested for carrying a corkscrew, for which he was going to open a bottle of wine. He went to prison for that! Oh, and this is Terry. Look at his double grill. His son’s name is Terry, and his dad’s name is Terry; he’s such a sweetheart, you know. He likes dancing to Haim.” Rose is not one to shy away from the complex realities that exist within her work. The male-orientated portraits feature not the faces of your typical pin-up, agency model, but real lads and men, fresh off the street. Her repertoire of male muses originate from all walks of life; drug dealers, gang members, young London lads off of the local council estate – you name it. They have all been captured by Rose’s lens. She is leading a new wave of photographic talent who, frustrated with the fashion industry’s stagnant stereotypes, are breathing life …