Be prepared to be stunned, confused and outraged.
A white woman has sparked an online backlash after Photoshopping images of her face on to women from Africa.
Boglarka Balogh, from Nyíregyháza, Hungary, who claims to be a journalist and human rights lawyer says the anger over her photos showed how a ‘good-hearted project can turn out [to be] something negative due to ignorance and guilt from the past and history.’
The 34-year-old who has been accused of cultural appropriation and ‘blackface’ says she aimed to highlight the tribes of Africa which are ‘fading away.’
She posted the images on submissions site Bored Panda where they were viewed more than 212,000 times before Boglarka deleted the controversial post.
Boglarka claimed she has since received encouraging letters from women all over the world – (including black women) and doesn’t see what she has done that is so wrong.
She said: ‘What I have done with this project I would have never imagined that I am touching such a hot topic, surely not the unfair negativity that I am receiving.’
‘I have to be honest with you I feel a little bit silly that I have to explain myself, my good intention, my art work for the people with negative feedback, as [if] I would have done something terrible.’
Boglarka says she was inspired to transform herself into a black woman after traveling through African countries.
She says during her time in ‘various African countries she became fully aware of the issues regarding a number of endangered tribes, and the speed at which they are fading away’.
Borglarka says the portraits show ‘how beauty varies across the globe and prove that all of us are beautiful in a different way.’
She created the images working with graphic artist Csaba Szábó to incorporate her own image onto portraits of members of the Wodaabe, Daasanach, Arbore, Mursi, Turkana, Karo and Himba communities.
She also included the population size of each tribe. Despite the extreme backlash to her photos, Balogh is still planning to go to Africa where she will be writing about human rights issues.
Borglarka says she wants to campaign for people in Ethiopia ‘where white people are trying to convince the black government to sell the tribal people’s land.’
‘I think that is a little bit [of a] bigger issue than my photographs.’
Despite her protests, she has still deleted her images from the submissions site Bored Panda: ‘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 per cent pure with this tribal art, being a human rights 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.’
But one woman who commented on the site claimed she was from the Turkana tribe in Kenya and was offended by the images.
The woman, who called herself Peace Wacheta, wrote on Bored Panda:
‘As a Turkana woman and considering that most of the African tribes you mention come from people I call friends and family, I am absolutely appalled at your nerve.’
‘How dare you! Have your never read of white privilege? Blackface? Cultural appropriation?
‘While we are out here being killed over our dark skins, being deemed inferior because of our cultures, you think being an African woman is a costume you get to put on and take off!’
‘These are not your people. This is not your history. Stay in your own lane.’
While @AmysGotMilk posted: ‘There are lots of ways to give voices to tribal women without performing blackface and silencing them in the act.’
@60ddess also pointed out she could have got an ‘actual black person’ to be morphed in the images.