Uwe Ommer

Photography

BLACK LADIES I

BLACK LADIES I

Preface by Leopold Sedar Senghor. Poet, first President of the Republic of Senegal and elected to the French Academy in 1983. "It's not pure chance if, once again, it is a man of the North, a German,Uwe Ommer, who has discovered and shown african beauty, black splendor. Other northerners, german women, journalists and film-makers like Gisela Bonn and Leni Riefenstahl, have done that before. I have been singing about the Black Woman, it is essenially for her multi-faceted beauty, her form - I use it in the singular- and beyond all that, her poetry in the etymological sense : for the creative inspiration that she generates within us, body and heart. I say heart and soul. As we know the Greeks,founders of the Albo-European civilization from which today is being built the Universal Civilization, borrowed heavly in their time from Egyptian civilization about which Herodotus, the father of History, said the inhabitans had "black skin and fuzzy hair". I'm thinking as well of the Black Gods who where them, Dionysus, the god of lyric life, and Circe, the Magician, the Enchantress. After all, in prehistoric time, and even after that, Black reigned as sacred color all over the Mediterranean Basin. The statues of the mother goddess, as well as the statues of Africa, and the black color of Ka'ba are proof of it.(...) The black woman is also, of course, the Mother, the housewife, tender and vigilant and hard working. Don't we say "to work like a nigger". Here, she is more active than a man. It is, the above all, the lover and the loved that one rediscoveers in these photographs : beautiful as a statue, tender as a night of love in the moonligh. It is not by chance that King Solomon, ispired by Egyptian love songs, composed for his black wife, daughter of a pharaoh, the famous "Songs of Songs". And he made her sing : "I am black and beautiful, daughter of Jerusalem awesome as an army in battle array". In effect, the Hebrew text written by Solomon, doesn't say, "black but beautiful"; but it says "black and beautiful". Poets and photographers of the Twentieth Century aren't singing a new song."