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Black-Eyed Lives

Black-Eyed Lives
after alfred eisenstaedt's "black-eyed veil: lilly daché hat and veil" (1937)

schoolchildren around the u.s. on this date donated funds, to wear hats in classes, in an effort to provide aid to earthquake survivors in haiti.

i was grumbling a bit about that, in my generic, did howard zinn die for nothing? kind of way, but erin did a really lovely and inspiring photo for the flickr group hats for haiti, and . . . well, erin, herself, is lovely and inspiring. i thought to look at the compassionate element of the process, rather than the cynical (though remembering the life of howard zinn also ranks as compassionate, in my worlds).

millinery is one of my secret loves. as i'm more of a conceptual artist than a photographer—and because i truly detest self-portraiture—i had to conceive of why i would do a shoot about . . . hats and haiti. that took half the night. literally.

one of the notions to which i continually returned was this bombardment of media attention related to "saving" the survivors in haiti. (yes, this is the part where i come full circle, mm hmm.) does anyone else recall condi rice stepping up, after the tsunami hit the indian ocean, just about exactly five years ago, welcoming that "diplomatic opportunity" for the u.s., then forwarding her notion of "transformational diplomacy"? oh. mm hmm.

now, there's talk of "manifest destiny" spreading its hegemonic buttah over the carribe . . . cuz we all know them haitians would be better off with a lil imperialism. um. condi and crew done started that route, back in the old administration, with the New Embassy Compound in Port au Prince, riiight?

so i revamped the style of one of the world's leading milliners, lilly daché, who created headwear for royalty and hollywood stars. this is a bit of an inversion of her "black-eyed veil" piece, for which an unnamed model was photographed by alfred eisenstaedt.