A (much more specific kind of) Dress A Day

by Erin on October 26, 2006

shwe shwe

Ann sent me a link to her blog, She Wears Shwe Shwe, where she posts pictures of women in South Africa wearing traditional shwe shwe fabric.

Needless to say, I love this project. Not just because I love the dresses and the gorgeous fabrics (I do) but also because Ann seems to be going about this in such a lovely and respectful way. She asks permission to photograph the wearers. She gets their mailing addresses so that she can send them a copy of the photo. She asks them questions about their dresses. Who made it? What design decisions did they make? What do they want to tell her about it? If she can (she's often driving when she spots women in shwe shwe) she offers the women rides.

There's a difference between photographic exploitation and photographic celebration, and I get a more celebratory feel from this site. I hope you do too.

This shwe shwe wearer is Rachel. She made this dress herself, out of two complementary prints. Look at the pockets!

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