For the exhibition Searching For The New Luxury, which took place in the Netherlands in 2018, the Sartists presented ‘Our Tribe’, a portrait series that included images of some of the members adorned in beadwork, masks, cow hide and streetwear. The series referenced the intersection of traditional African practices and Western contemporary culture—a common junction for many Black African youth.
“In a changing world dominated by technology and Western ways, the sustainability of our cultures is threatened…as people with tradition and culture often misunderstood and mislabeled as ‘dark magic’ or ‘dark practices’ in a time of colonialism and apartheid, are losing their cultures to those of the West,” said the collective in a statement that accompanied their presentation of ‘Our Tribe’.
Emphasising sustainability in fashion, the Sartists not only embrace environmental consciousness, but socially and culturally sustainable fashion that is rooted in identity and knowledge of the self. Or what they term, culturally sustainable fashion.
“We care our about saving our planet, we care about our ecosystem, we care about going green but before we can really change and apply we also have to care about our livelihood, which is also threatened everyday. ‘Our Tribe’ is an idea that challenges the sustainability for our traditions, our culture and our people. It is a conversation about the cultural fusion between African spirituality and the adoption of Western ways by African people.”
May 2, 2018