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Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Rape of Africa: Not on your Nellie

So David LaChapelle was all over the British press last weekend with pictures of his new political work, Rape of Africa - based on Venus and Mars by Botticelli.

The Independent noted that, for LaChapelle, Naomi Campbell '...in all her exotic finery, represents the objectification of African women, by Western culture, as their homes and countries are torn apart."

Ho hum, I thought. Then today, I read this story in the Guardian.  Here is an excerpt: 

"Campbell was spending the night at Mandela's house, as was Mia Farrow. I reiterate, it is not for humble mortals to query Mandela's social circle. The main thing is, something may have happened that night. Whether it did or not may not ever be fully known. But if it did, the UN-backed special court in The Hague would quite like to know.

Our story now fast-forwards almost a decade, and Farrow has just remembered something about that party round at Nelson's. According to her, the next morning Campbell came to her and said that in the middle of the night, some representatives from one Charles Taylor gave her a diamond. "I just thought, 'What an amazing life Naomi has!'" Farrow told ABC News.

Doesn't she just. You see, there was a small detail that I omitted about that 1997 slumber party: along with Campbell and Farrow, there was one other house guest – namely Taylor, the former president of Liberia who is on trial in The Hague for atrocities committed in Sierra Leone, including orchestrating the raping, torturing, killing and eating of hundreds of thousands of people."

All of which puts LaChapelle's Rape of Africa into a new light. Either the casting of Campbell is a knowing stroke of satirical genius or it is something else entirely. I do know the answer to this one; It's something else entirely.

Here's a little video of Naomi not being there for that kind of question.

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