The selfie is more than a mere show of narcissism via a digital platform. For many women, it’s a bold declaration of race, beauty, and culture. It’s a way to be seen, not for the sake of being seen, but to communicate a presence.
Abidjan-based designer Loza Maléombho has been posting this ongoing series of portraits titled #AlienEdits to her Instagram page for some time now. Each image is minimalist, serene, and striking. The title and the series convey a deeper alienation as Maléombho tells Dynamic Africa,
The concept of Alien Edits came to me rather intuitively and I am still expressing and experimenting as I am writing this, but if I had to pin it I’d say that it came from frustrations about the US judiciary system with its on going discrimination against African Americans and frustrations about social issues that are class, race, culture, sexuality and religious stereotypes, all of which cause a state of alienation on its victims.
In other terms Alien Edits is an effort to bring awareness on social and cultural issues that affect people of my generation and empowers them with uplifting messages of grace, royalty, empathy and elegance in order to push upward. Some symbols include the stretching of the neck for stature and pride and the constant use of the hand as a key element of grace and self validation for example. So I thought: what better and faster way to communicate these ideas than with a selfie?