Sydney artist Okenyo has released a new single, ‘Anthropology’, along with an accompanying music video.
The track discusses the role white supremacy plays in consumerism in the art world. In a statement, the musician – full name Zindzi Okenyo – explained further.
“My identity whether it be tied to race, gender or sexuality belongs to me only and ‘Anthropology’ is a moment for me to own that regardless of what others may seek from me. Take your hands off my biology,” she said.
The video, directed and produced by Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore, depicts Okenyo as a marble statue in an art gallery, being examined by white gallery patrons. The clip references Saartje Baartman, an African woman who was shipped to Europe and put on display in the 19th Century.
Watch the video for ‘Anthropology’ below:
The track and music video arrives as Black Lives Matter protests continue to take place throughout the world. Of the video, Okenyo said the video hopes to “shine a light on colonial exploitation and the ongoing exoticism and ownership of Bla(c)k bodies and Bla(c)k culture through the white lens”.
“Throughout history and through the white lens, the Black body and Black culture has become an object of obsession and exoticism,” she said.
“By putting myself at the centre of the piece as the artwork itself I am asking the audience to challenge their perception of power, privilege and what it means to take.”
‘Anthropology’ follows on from Okenyo’s EP, ‘Solo’, released back in May.