Si Wi Yah: Sartorial Representations of the African Diaspora
Friday 4th May 2018,
London College of Fashion,
20 John Princes Street,
London, W1G 0BJ
Saturday 5th May 2018,
Senate House, University of London,
London, WC1E 7HU
Si Wi Yah CIAD Conference Programme
This, CIAD’s first dress conference of the African Diaspora, seeks to understand how African Diaspora communities came to be visually represented or have developed the agency to represent themselves and establish their identities through clothing and adornment.
People of African heritage have been moved across the globe, through forced or self-determined migration in the western hemisphere, for hundreds of years. As they came to settle in various corners of the globe, the retention of their African origins mixed with their new environments and other cultures and have developed the myriad of different communities that make up the African Diaspora.
Colonial textbooks have suggested that people on the continent of Africa, had little in the way of material or sartorial culture, with which to distinguish themselves and certainly nothing to rival the elegance of Europe. It is fair to say that not only has historic style and culture coming out of Africa been of the merit and quality on a par with Europe, but that oftentimes what has come out of the continent has been of such total opposite to the considerations of Europe that the eminence has been unrecognisable by historical westernised anthropologists and writers.
Having been transplanted in one way or another into different countries and communities around the world, people of African heritage have often helped to shape and enhance the culture of the countries within which they have found themselves.