Edition 1 + 1 AP
“Everybody wanna be a nigga but nobody wanna be a nigga.”
- Paul Mooney
Black Bieber is an animated GIF work from RaFia’s large Black Power Project. The work depicts pop star Justin Bieber undulating between light and dark skin tones as commentary on the value that the entertainment industry places on appropriated Black culture. As RaFia was quoted in Coalition Mag , “They don’t see it as stealing because Black Culture is what’s hot, and what’s hot is up for grabs. When called out, they say they’re paying homage but they’re really only giving a nod to the basic skills and not the history of our style. They just want to be cool. They want to be like us...but they have no idea that our ‘cool’ is, at its core, a defense mechanism for dealing with the social conditions of being Black in a white man’s world.”
RaFia Santana is a Brooklyn-born multidisciplinary artist using animated graphics, self portraiture, and music production to self-soothe, bend perception and make jokes throughout their experiences with mental illness, chronic fatigue, sensory overload, and racial violence.