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Foreign Affairs mar Apr Cover 2015I have mentioned my niece, Sarah Foster, here in the past for her exploits as a talented dancer and choreographer in NYC. But she has another form of her talent that showed itself recently in her day job with Foreign Affairs magazine. That is that of a video editor.  The coming March/April issue of the prestigious magazine deals with the issue of race and has images of  the faces from a group of people from all races all set against backdrops that match their skin tones.

Sarah produced  a very fine video for the magazine explaining the backstory behind these images, which is the work of  Brazilian photographer Angélica Dass.  She  an ongoing and open-ended project called Humanae which has her photographing people of all races from around the globe.   So far over 2500 subjects on five continents have participated.

All are photographed in exactly the same circumstances– the same distance, the same light and exposure.  She then matches the color from their nose to the Pantone color system, an international standard for color matching, and makes the backdrop that color.   She then labels each with the Pantone code and number.   The result is a wonderful and powerful examination of how we define race by colors that really don’t exist.

Humanae Image of Angelica DassThe video feature a telephone interview with Dass ( shown here on the left–she’s Pantone 7522 C) who explains her project.  The video is a great accompaniment to it, giving you a taste of many images.

Great work.  Well done, Sarah!!

For more info on Angélica Dass and the Humanae Project click here.

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I don’t know much about dance, modern or otherwise.  Can’t tell a Tharp from an Ailey.

And I can’t dance.  The mere thought of moving around in front of a group of people makes me freeze, as though a T-Rex were after me and my only hope of survival was to remain still so he couldn’t see me, a la Jurassic Park.  Perhaps it’s a result of painfully stumbling through mandatory dance lessons in my 6th grade gym class.  A sweaty twelve year-old doing a clumsy cha-cha in the gymnasium with someone who randomly chosen is not the best basis for a healthy life with dance.

But I have a link to the world of dance through my niece, Sarah Foster.  She has danced and choreographed for years, primarily in the Boston area.  As I said, I know little if anything  about dance but Sarah’s work has always had its own signature idiosyncracy of movement and feel that I immediately recognize.  She often uses humor and her own unique view of the world in her work, often evoking chuckles from the crowds who have seen her work.  And while I may be ignorant of the history of dance, I can appreciate the inherent beauty of the rhythm and flow of the movement of dance and the visual impact of the moving form, often taking from it  inspiration for my own work.

When I was selecting a video of her work to show here, I was torn between two pieces, one more humorous and the other,  a lovely bit of movement that has great visual impact.  I opted for the more serious piece, Respiration, but highly recommend the other, Reverse Spontaneous Combustion (AKA Mad Science), as well.  Anyway, here’s a glimpse into Sarah’s world…

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