‘Back to Black’ and Explorative Photography

  • It’s about striking a balance between the essence of African beauty and the force of Western ideas of beauty


Titled “A Prologue to Magic,” this is just one of many pictures in local model and creative director Amy Amantle Moreetsi’s blog, “Back To Black,” that explores themes of blackness, beauty and cultural ideologies.

She describes the title “Back To Black,” as innate. It is paired with the tagline that reads: “A Voyage into Self-preservation.”

Says Amy: “I’ve always felt that as a black African millennial, I know more about the Western way of life that’s imposed on us through so many different mediums than I do about the way of life of my own race and home. So, I set out to document stories of Africans as a way for us to journey back to ourselves through learning and celebration of Africa.”

Regarding the themes, she highlights the nuance of losing the essence of our culture to our modernity: “The main themes in terms of content are currently ‘art, culture and social lifestyle’ with the aim of exploring the assumed balance between clinging to our traditional African ideologies and succumbing to Western ideas of living in the present society, without losing the essence of our Africanness or trailing behind in global best practices.”

She works with prolific photographer Monthusi ‘Giancarlo Laguerta’ Seremane.

Through poetic accounts expressed in each collage, she tries to merge herself in different narratives and writes: “The girl in my dream is both me and you, and this is the prologue of the magic we are about to unleash. In the end, the world will acknowledge our worth as highly as we have known it ourselves. This black girl is phenomenal, and she knows it all too well.”

Enter one of the models featured, Zinedine Gioia: “These are the irreversible effects of rebelling against the female mold: Shame, pain, isolation. Living how you want and not how ‘a good woman’ should mean putting oneself through unnecessary amounts of unspeakable trails just because, well, I can. I’ve found myself in a lot of places I wish I hadn’t. Whether it is seen as good or bad, I can be whichever woman I please and that’s a level of self-love and acceptance I would never give up to be a ‘good and decent’ woman.”