The London Evening Standard apologized to Solange Knowles on Saturday, after photoshopping her cover photo shoot. The apology came after Solange blasted the publication and accusations of racism ignited the internet.
Don’t touch Solange’s hair
You don’t mess with Solange’s hair, that’s a gold rule and the Evening Standard learnned it the bad way. The London publication issued an apology to the singer on Saturday for digitally removing her braids.
“We were delighted to have the chance to interview the wonderful Solange Knowles and photograph her for this week’s edition of ES,” started the statement.
“It is therefore a matter of great regret that the finished cover artwork caused concern and offence. The decision to amend the photograph was taken for layout purposes, but plainly we made the wrong call and we have offered our unreserved apologies to Solange.”
Ironically, during the interview Solange specifically discussed the cultural significance of braiding hair for black women, describing it as an art form and important part of her cultural legacy.
Following the publication of the issue, Solange had taken to social media to express her ire by posting the original picture with the caption “dtmh,” an abbreviation of ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’, a track that featured on her 2016 album ‘A Seat on the Table.’
The song resonated with many black women around the world because it highlighted and explained the politics behind black hair. “The song is as much as what it feels like to have your whole identity challenged on a daily basis, although physically touching the hair is extremely problematic,” she said in the same interview.
Controversy and shame surrounding the publication
Amid the controversy and furor surrounding the photograph, Angelica Bastien, the journalist who interviewed Solange “publicly disowned” the piece, claiming that her interview was distorted.
“I am publicly disowning the Solange piece London Evening Standard published today. The entire piece was a fiasco despite my efforts,” she tweeted.
“I told my editors to take my name off of the byline because they distorted my work and reporting in ways that made me very uncomfortable, which was heartbreaking given how much work I put into it and my interest in Solange as an artist.”
On top of that, photographer Daria Koboyashi Ritch, who photographed Solange for the piece, took to social media to address the controversy.
“So incredibly honored that I got to photograph [Solange] for the cover of [Evening Standard]. I am also saddened that they chose to alter the image by removing such a powerful aspect of it,” she wrote in a post that shows the magazine’s edited cover.
I am publicly disowning the Solange piece London Evening Standard published today. The entire piece was a fiasco despite my efforts.
— Angelica Jade (@angelicabastien) October 19, 2017
Despite it all, Solange keeps on working
Earlier this year, Solange debuted as a performance artist to great success at the Guggenheim Museum in ‘An Ode To.’ Where she performs tracks from ‘A Seat at the Table’ along with dramatic and beautiful contemporary dance moves.
“I wanted to create a specific scenography through movement and landscape to communicate my states of process through this record, I decided to do this through a visual language,” Solange said in a statement.
A barefoot yet dramatic Solange performs ‘Weary,’ ‘Cranes in the Sky,’ and a cover of the Motown singer Syreeta’s ‘Black Maybe,’ the 1972 song produced by her then-husband, Stevie Wonder.
The performance came as part of her advocacy for black culture, and she’s not stopping on delivering powerful lyrics and contemporary performances. In fact, she’s mixing both things and giving us an inside look to her 2016 ‘A Seat at the Table.’
Solange came up with ‘Scales’ a combination of arrangements from her 2016 album ‘A Seat at the Table’, which she performs against the striking backdrop of an installation by the artist Donald Judd at the Chinati Foundation Texas. There’s also a new performance art-and-music series titled “Orion’s Rise” that will travel from Washington, D.C. to New York to Berkeley.
Keeping up with the family’s tradition of delivering surprises she released ‘Seventy States,’ an online “dossier” that provides an exclusive look at more unreleased content from her 2016 album.It also features new music, new poetry, and a completely original performance that is in conjunction with the Tate Modern museum in London.
Along with the powerful art performances, Solange has been pretty busy with her musical performances headlining Glastonbury Festival earlier this year, and delivering quite a performance at the Radio City Hall earlier this month.
She was also announced as part of the line-up of the upcoming Day for Night Festival, which will donate part of its proceeds to the Greater Houston Community Foundation as a show of solidarity with Houston and the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
And, on top of that, Solange is the most nominated artist for this year’s edition of BET’s 2017 Soul Train Awards. The singer snagged seven nominations, including best R&B/soul female artist and video and song of the year for her single ‘Cranes in the Sky.’