Anna Gragert
September 24, 2015 6:23 am

“Diversity” is one word that we love to hear, which would explain why we also love [re-]Mixing Hollywood: an influential project created by photographers Omar Victor Diop and Antoine Tempé.

In a series that consists of exactly twenty images, the two artists beautifully recreated famous cinematic scenes–but with a thought-provoking twist. They imagined what these iconic silver screen moments would look like in Africa, with models from Dakar, Abidjan, Senegal, and the Ivory coast.

“The creative process of this series itself is very similar to the way African contemporary creation often takes place,” Diop told CNN. “We often have to tweak concepts and styles from around the world and adapt them to our context, while preserving their original feel.”

Classic American and European films such as Pulp FictionAmerican Beauty, and Breakfast at Tiffany‘s are just a few of the pictures that were diversified. “Why cinema? Cinema is probably the form of art that is the most universal, as it transcends all barriers, be they geographic, cultural, or racial,” the creative duo writes. “Great movies of the past, as well as most recent ones, feature iconic scenes that have tremendously influenced pop cultures of very different societies. African cities weren’t left out.”

Each revamped image is vibrantly colorful and filled with plenty of intricate details. As a whole, the collection displays recognizable set-ups, but also manages to show viewers a different side of their favorite movie plots. The photographs allow onlookers to contemplate some of their favorite films, to wonder what the entire picture would look like if people from different backgrounds were included. Overall, [re-]Mixing Hollywood prompts audiences to ask: How can we improve? How can we make the world more inclusive?

Both Diop and Tempé wanted to make the project’s setting just as meaningful, so they decided to pick distinctly accessible locations: hotels. “A hotel is a crossroads in which cultures and origins from around the world co-exist and merge in a permanent cycle of reinventions and reinterpretations,” they explain. “That is the essence of this project.”

All photographs reprinted with permission from Omar Victor Diop and Antoine Tempé

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