At some point we must find ourselves doing a reflection on the so-called ethnic fashion in Europe and the dilemmas of independent activities in a mainstream world.
London and Paris have been my professional spots in Europe since I got engaged in an activity which embraces partially an independent crafted fashion linked to cultural diversity. It is a fact that most of the fashion world tends to be a superficial and/or elitist one all over the world. Even if the engine of some initiatives are not, when they are framed in a geographical and socio-cultural context they get in contact with a system to work where some become alike to succeed.


No matter what other vision far from mere business it becomes a challenge. Likewise, it is finding your own market and platforms which mirror the spirit of what you do. What I can say is all the anecdotes I’ve experienced, of all kind since I first got started in 2012 in Spain, are only giving me the increasing inspiration of creating our own, which is by the way always the answer. 

Among my current large international network they are not many the number of brands which are worried about giving their brands a soul out of a commercial vision. Which add ideological content to achieve it. Very few which want to dress a state of mind . To be an extension and reaffirmation of oneself which promotes political values. Which conceive it with the mission of creating a lifestyle which pierces the minds not the pockets in the first place. A social impact with the creations as a mean not a finality. They are not many the events, particularly in Paris, which support other thing than high fashion either. Even if they contradict themselves in their philosophy when they reckon to be addressed to consolidated and emergent talents and being hold by ethical values when bringing such a class offer which price does not belong to a mid range and stall prices equivalent to your monthly housing rent for a day or weekend not forgetting about their VIP tickets and spaces. But still where all networking turns around.

So in the middle of this context, it’s always a pleasure to meet from time to time different kind of profiles (artists, event organisers, press…) who are not willing to compromise their vision for money, standing on their own feet. The biggest challenge for us now it’s to build our own counter system which for the time being is decided to stand together, collaborating, making public press manifestos and willing to create a wave of soulful wrapping in the middle of this often superficial ethnic trend, helping audience to differentiate conceptual artwork from mere business.

This time Totem Taboo has travelled to Paris to associate with Classic Proletarians. In the same way Lens did at New York Times this week, Nafoor Qâa – king of conceptual sapology in Paris – has been a while exploring how to transcend his innate sens of aesthetics in a meaningful way which could walk way out of preconceived ideas of what does to be Black mean. He has been a while exploring how to give birth a project out of it fighting capitalism too. This exploration has lead him to Classic Proletarians, a lifestyle movement based on conscious consumption of resources at our disposal through conceptual art, and his most recent son, Fripiz. A concept where more than selling vintage clothing he fights against expensive life and scams dressed up in what French people call ‘probobo’ and ‘prohypster’ conceptuality.

This is the result of our first visual storytelling.

Stylism and photography by Nafoor Qâa.

Modelling by Christelle Duverly & Leandre Tamba.

Hats by Totem Taboo.

Paris, 2016.

by Cristina Morales

Cristina Morales (MA) is a transdisciplinary cultural practitioner who works as a researcher, writer, curator, speaker, critical pedagogue and artist at the intersection of art and politics. She has worked internationally since 2002 and is currently based in London, UK. She holds a Master in Cultural Production from the Open University of Catalonia, and a Bachelor in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Barcelona, Spain. Known for her creative and holistic approach to activism, Cristina is currently the founding curator of the first decolonial thinktank mapping and exploring Cultural Activism worldwide, Counterspace. The founding artist of the Situationist brand of political designs and performances Totem Taboo. And she writes periodically in English, French and Spanish on Decoloniality, on personal and community development through art, and on African and African diaspora arts & culture, published by national, international and specialised media such as the London Institute of Contemporary Arts (London); El Mundo (Madrid); Humanities, Arts & Society (Paris); A Beautiful Resistance (Seattle); Inhabit (Global); Ouvrage (Montreal); Wiriko (Barcelona); and Radio Africa (Barcelona) |