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  • Pernille Bærendtsen

DESIGN: Individuality and Collectivity


I am researching material for an article about African fashion and design - and its relation to expressing identity and individuality rooting in a collective culture - and I am again reading this article 'The Curious History of African Prints' - about where African prints came from. Now, I stumbled over this:

'But there was a problem: The machine-made version of these cloths developed a crackling effect—a series of small lines, dots, and imperfections where the resin cracked and dye seeped through—that didn’t appeal to Indonesian batik purists. In need of a market for the new textiles, the Dutch turned to West Africa. As it turned out, West Africans were actually partial to these imperfections: They appreciated the fact that no two bolts of cloth were identical.' It is the imperfections which makes us stand out. It takes courage though to pick imperfection over perfection - doesn't it? It could also be said in an entirely different way like a journalist once did when he reviewed the South African band eVoid like this:

'...to flow like the untainted waters of a languishing African river in no hurry to find the ocean, where you will only merge with many other rivers and lose your distinct and evocative individuality'.

See also Pinterest here.

#africa #creativity #photography #design #africanfabric #wax #vitenge #kitenge #daressalaam #tanzania #fashion

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