For Sarah - The African Princess
2016 | Homage to Sarah Forbes Bonetta who was born into royalty in 1843 at Oke-Odan, an Egbado village in Ogun state. In the 37 years that she lived, she went through a lot. She was orphaned at the age of four during an intertribal war, captured and sold into slavery by King Ghezo of Dahomey, but due to her remarkable intelligence, was later liberated from enslavement to be raised as a goddaughter to Queen Victoria. Sarah was given to Captain Fredrick E. Forbes of the Royal Navy as a 'gift' of the 'Black King to the White Queen'. The well known archival images of Sarah Forbes presents a young black woman of high rank, dressed in the latest Victorian fashions of her social standing, but offers none of the inner turmoil that must have been experienced by the woman who was stolen from her homeland and placed into Europe where she would we constantly be viewed as the other. l wanted to pay tribute to this remarkable resilient rather unknown historic figure and show her inner world by presenting her duo personality in lush light, and contrasting black satins that promotes ideas of regality. Black dresses in Victorian times were worn to mourn. In this portrait she is seen in a world far from where she is placed. refusing the gaze of the viewer.The model is Kajote Barbara, from Uganda. Her story has many similarities with Sarahs story. She was orphaned at a very young age and struggled but made it to become 1st runner up of Miss Uganda in 2011. She then moved to Europe.