AFRICANGLOBE – The fashion director of Vogue Brazil has resigned after she was accused of racism because her slavery themed birthday party which showed depictions of colonial slavery.
Pictures taken at Donata Meirelles’ 50th birthday show her sat on a throne, surrounded by Black women in white dresses, at a party in Bahia, the state with the biggest Black population.
Ms Meirelles later posted a now-deleted apology before reposting Vogue Brazil’s statement and saying she wanted to learn from her mistakes.
Critics claimed the party was inspired by Brazilian slave colonies, and used the Black women as “photo props.”
Author Ale Santos tweeted: “Donata Meirelles is a perverse woman who wished to revive one of the biggest torments of Black people to satisfy her sordid fantasy of white hegemony.
“A despicable supremacist who is director of @VogueBRoficial.”
Shelby Ivey Christie said: “Vogue Brazil’s Style Director Donata Meirelles had a very disgusting 50th birthday party theme last night
“There appears to be a Brazilian slave + master theme. Mucamas (house slaves), who were very clearly darker complexioned, were posed as props alongside guests #DoShow50
“The uniform of the Mucamas, house slaves, was usually a white linen or cotton dress.
“Sinhá” is a remnant from Brazilian slave language. Slaves couldn’t properly pronounce senorita so they shorted into “Sinhá” when addressing their female captors.
“The white dresses & headwraps are not coincidental. Here are images of female Brazilian slaves smh.
“Brazil did not outlaw slavery until 1888, almost the 20th century.
“Brazil, not America, has the largest population of people of African decent living outside of Africa – By 1888 Brazil had 40% of the total slave population in the Americas.”
Julia Segarra added: “Donata Meirelles, director of @VogueBRoficial had a luxurious party with the theme Brazil Slave Colony. I have no words, I just want to vomit.”
In a comment on Instagram, Ms Meirelles said: “At age 50, the hour is action. I’ve heard a lot, I need to hear more.
“I want to act together with the women who have to teach me and with whom else is willing to be a link in a transformation that is necessary.
“My commitment is to put me in (re)construction! In action!”
A statement by Vogue Brazil added: “Vogue Brasil deeply regrets what happened and hopes that the debate generated will serve as a learning experience.
“We believe in affirmative and purposeful actions and also that empathy is the best alternative for the construction of a more just society, in which the historical inequalities of the Country are debated and faced.
“In pursuit of the constant evolution that has always guided us, we take the reflection generated to broaden the voices within the team and create, on a permanent basis, a forum formed by activists and scholars who will help define contents and images that combat these inequalities.”
A spokeswoman for Condé Nast International said: “Condé Nast International is aware of the hurt and dismay caused by images of the private birthday party of Donata Meirelles, Style Director of Vogue Brazil.
“Vogue Brazil has set up a working group of scholars and activists that will help the team to more deeply understand the history of slavery and the lasting pain it has left behind.
“As a company, we have zero tolerance for racism and images evoking racism. Condé Nast International is a force for positive societal change and stands for diversity and inclusiveness.”
By: Megan White