Myeisha Essex is in love with all things pop culture, thanks in large part to her hometown. This Los Angeles native has an encyclopedic knowledge of the entertainment industry and she loves a good trivia game. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies from Bennett College for Women and her master's from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her work can be found in Sister 2 Sister, Harlem World Magazine, Clutch and on Essence.com. When she's not keeping up with the news or learning Beyonce's latest dance moves, she enjoys watching stand-up comedy on YouTube! Follow her on Instagram @more_about_me
Have you ever wondered what classic Hollywood films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, American Beauty and Chicago would look like with Black faces? If so, you are in luck thanks to Omar Victor Diop and Antoine Tempé.
In their new project titled ONOMOllywood, the Dakar-based photographers recreate some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters with Black models.
“Their series comprises twenty images inspired by iconic moments of great American and international movies, with a cast featuring a representative sample of the cultural scenes in Dakar and Abidjan, where these images were shot,” their website states.
During an interview, Diop said “ONOMOllywood is a celebration of cinema, as an artistic discipline and of the magic of a great movie.”
“In 20 images that pay homage to characters such as Truman Capote’s Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, these reinventions begin with the a humble “what if…” A question looking to how popular global cultural translates to the local, what could it look like, and what new memories would it create,” he said.
“For Antoine Tempé (the co-author of the series who created 10 out of the 20 images) and myself, what makes a great movie is the fact that the strength of its characters, plot and scenes transcends all geographic, temporal and racial barriers. A great movie is more than a series of sequences, it becomes a moment that is lived across the globe by people who have very little in common, but who relate to extraordinary stories that allow them to dream,” he added. “The example I always give is the magic of a James Bond movie; back when I was a kid, I didn’t care whether Roger Moore was white or black, or whether I was a British citizen… to me, he was a hero I could impersonate.”
The entire twenty-image exhibition is on view at hotel ONOMO in Dakar, but you can click though the slides below to see preview of the collection.