A 34-year-old Hungarian journalist is under fire for wearing blackface to draw attention to various “African countries” where she became “fully aware of the issues regarding a number of endangered tribes, and the speed at which they are fading away,” according to the Independent.
Human rights journalist Boglarka Balogh’s story first appeared on Bored Panda through its public submission form, notes the news site.
Per the Independent:
With each transformation, Balogh includes information about the tribe in question. Each image was modelled using a picture of a woman from the tribe.
Website comments, however, were almost uniformly against the piece. One commenter explained the reaction, writing “Yikes. Totally get that people want to raise awareness and that’s great. Using blackface isn’t the way to do it though.”
Another wrote, “You are performing blackface. You do not need to be the visual intermediary between the West and these beautiful African women. Your blackface part in this is totally unnecessary and codes as racist. You do not get to appropriate the culture of these women for your art.”
Here are some social media posts:
— MR (@MollieRodriguez) January 7, 2016
She apologized for the offensive post on the Bored Panda website and deleted the original story:
Update: Since I had no intentions to offend anyone and yet I’m not able to answer to all of you, I’ve decided to delete my post.
My intention was 100% pure with this tribal art, being a human right lawyer and journalist who knows pretty much about racism and similar issues, I have never imagined that my work will annoy so many people and that I will have to explain myself. And sure, I will not do that. Keep calm and love every human.
It remains unclear what about her project Balogh thought would help endangered tribes in Africa. Sound off in the comments.