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Beyoncé and Jay-Z in the Louvre

In the music video for the single "Apes ** t", the iconic pop idols challenge the expected way Africans have been viewed throughout history. But the couple are not the first to choose the Louvre as their location to mark their own success.

"My mom taught me that not only is it important to be considered, but also to be the one to be considered," Beyoncé told US Vogue in September. In her much-talked-about interview, she points out that "not only is an African-American on the cover of Vogue's most important monthly edition, but it is also the first cover photo in Vogue taken by an African-American photographer". A number of other magazines have also had colored women on the cover lately. And what's more: The chief editor of English Vogue, Edward Enniful, is – for the first time in history – a black man. All this just over the course of a year, where Hollywood has for the first time had a bestseller with a black hero, Black Panther (2018) – a movie set in Africa, where almost all the actors are dark-skinned, and where the film also has a dark director.

But isn't it the opposite that should really amaze us? How come it is only now, more than a hundred years after the film's invention, that the cultural industry hires African Americans and furthermore adjusts the photo techniques so that they can work for those with darker complexion as well?

The Conquest of the Louvre

It is in this context that Beyoncé and Jay-Z – the American pop idols who together go by the artist name "The Carters" – launch their latest projects: the album Everything is love and yours . . .

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Melita Zajc
Zajc is a media writer, researcher and film critic. She lives and works in Slovenia, Italy and Africa.

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