What happens if classic films were recast with black people?


Candice Chung

It's an uncomfortable truth, but the term 'classic' in art is more often than not synonymous to 'white'.

Dakar-based photographers Omar Victor Diop and Antoine Tempé are keen to challenge that perception. In their latest collaborative project, ONOMOllywood, the pair put casting directors in the hotseat by replacing the ubiquitous white faces on the silver screen with black ones.

In a stunning series of 20 images, they paid blockbusters like Breakfast at Tiffany's, American Beauty, Thelma and Louise.

The implicit question being: "Would you see these classic scenes differently if the race of the lead characters were different?"


But there was a suprising backlash after CNN published an interview with Diop, " We were taken aback by the racial dimension of some readers’ comment. To my great surprise, I realised that this series could be seen by some as a sort of “revenge” of black people against a too “white” Hollywood. The “race war” in the comments section was quite epic!"

"We’re glad this project started a conversation in other continents, that’s the purpose of art, even though for us, ONOMOllywood remains a celebration, a well deserved homage to geniuses of cinema, to timeless moments," Diop told The Guardian.

Find out more about the series here. And check out a selection of the images below!

Sources: Upworthy, The Guardian

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