The video entitled "The image of me", which is made by Danish video artist Jeannette Ehlers and Dutch visual artist Patricia Kaersenhout for the Black Magic Women Festival 2012 in Amsterdam Southeast, portrays two women – one black and one white – who gradually change colour. The video is based on the poem "Lord Why Did You Make Me Black?" from African-American poet RuNett Nia Ebo.
The video is part of the exhibition BE YOU, which is curated by Renske de Jong & Sasha Dees. The exhibition runs until 28 December 2012. More on the artists and exhibition at www.oazo-air.com.
The Black Prayer
Lord, why did you made me black?
Why did you make someone the world would hold back?
Black is the color of dirty clothes of grimy hands and feet,
Black is the darkness of tired beaten streets.
Why did you give me thick lips, a broad nose, and kinky hair?
Why did you create someone who receives the hated stare?
Black is the color of the bruised eye when someone get hurt,
Black is the color of darkness, black is the color of dirt.
Why is my bone structure so thick, my hips and cheeks so high?
Why are my eyes brown, and not the color of the sky?
Why do people think I’m useless, how come I feel used?
Why do people see my skin and think I should be abused?
Lord, I just don’t understand it about my skin...
Why is it some people want to hate me and not know the person within?
Black is what people are “Labeled” when others want to keep away,
Black is the color or shadows cast, black is the end of the day.
Lord, you know my own people mistreat me, and you know that just ain’t right,
They don’t like my hair, they don’t like my skin, as they say I’m too dark or too light!
Lord, don’t you think it’s time to make a change?
Why don’t you redo creation and make everyone the same?
Why did I make you? Why did I make you black?
I made you in the color of coal from which beautiful diamonds are formed,
I made you in the color of oil, the black gold which keeps people warm.
Your color is the same as the rich dark soil that grows the food you need,
Your color is the same as the black stallion and panther, Oh what majestic creatures indeed!
All colors of the heavenly rainbow can be found throughout every nation,
When all these colors blended, you become my greatest creation!
Your hair is the texture of lamb’s wool, such a beautiful creature is he,
I am the shepherd who watches them, I will ALWAYS watch over thee!
You are the color of the midnight sky, I put star glitter in your eyes
There’s a beautiful smile hidden behind your pain, that’s why your cheeks so high!
You are the color of dark clouds from the hurricanes I created in September,
I made your lips so full and thick, so when your kiss...they will remember!
Your stature is strong, your bone structure thick to withstand the burden of time,
The reflection you see in the mirror, that image that looks back, that is MINE!
So get off your knees, look in the mirror and tell me what you see,
I didn’t make you in the image of darkness: I made you in image of ME!