Being racially offensive in a kingdom obsessed with skin colour

The time is ripe for such tropes to go

Sara Alam September 23, 2016
PHOTO: INSTGRAM

Since time immemorial, chocolate has been intertwined with race - sometimes inadvertently and at others - in bad taste.

The recent Magnum party in Karachi showed one how not to go about it. The event featured surreal art at its extreme. Subjective aesthetics aside, one 'artistic feature' veritably crossed the line for being racially offensive in a kingdom obsessed with skin colour.

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This dark man was used as a prop to entertain other wealthy individuals at the party. Likening a black man to chocolate is akin to reducing an entire community to a colour. Small wonder then that we live in a racist world.

The visual exemplifies the struggle for racial equality and empowerment as the world distorts black identity. It goes on to reveal that even in 2016, the colour of one's skin carries weight.

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The event's organisers failed to distinguish between surrealism and racism, with the brand ending up exploiting a race in the name of marketing and entertainment. Little wonder the image sparked outrage across social media.







The idea to use a black man as a prop is said to be the brainchild of a noted event manger. However, the use of black men as props or being typecast on the basis of their colour is by no means unprecedented in the Pakistani fashion industry.



In 2013, designer Amna Aqeel published her Be My Slave fashion shoot in DIVA. The shoot featured a white model being waited on by a dark-skinned child.

We often neglect the underlying stereotypical discourse in our everyday lives. Such recurrent signs and symbols only serve to normalise racial discrimination. The time is ripe for such tropes to go.

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COMMENTS (2)

Frank | 3 years ago | Reply | Recommend Oh God. Has left wing liberal whinging and grievance mongering reached Pakistan? Pakistanis consider an olive skin to be the most beautiful. Good luck in trying to change that.
Bunny Rabbit | 3 years ago | Reply | Recommend Ufff will all of you stop reading too much in between the lines and just enjoy the choc ice cream.
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