The Photographic Journal

Apollo

Essay 65 • Jul 11th 2016

"Apollo" is a study on the intersections between race, culture and gender performance. In many cultures around the world, but especially in the Gabonese culture (from which both myself and the model, Tommy, are a part of), men are usually told to be overly-masculine at all times and to detach themselves from most emotions. They are told that showing emotions, being tender, soft and kind is a "feminine" trait and is, therefore, negative. Additionally, black men are constantly seen, in mainstream media especially, as extremely masculine and seemingly incapable of displaying any type of emotions other than rage, anger or anything else violent or negative. In this series, the model fights the idea that black men constantly have to constantly perform and show this overly masculine side even if that's not who they really are and how they really feel. He chooses to fully embrace his true self by rejecting the ideas of hypermasculinity constantly put onto black men, while still celebrating his blackness and Africanness in a vibrant and colourful environment.

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Yannis Davy Guibinga is a 21 years old self-taught photographer from Gabon (Central Africa) based in Toronto, Canada.

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