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Animated Short Film from Kenya ‘Yellow Fever’ Explores Colorism & Self-Image Among African Girls and Women

JENNIFER SEFA-BOAKYE | OkayAfrica   in  · ·
March 29, 2015

Yellow Fever is a mixed-media documentary animation by Kenyan filmmaker Ng’endo Mukii. The short film, which served as Mukii’s thesis project at London’s Royal College of Art, is a captivating blend of live-action, stop-motion, spoken word, and vibrant hand-drawn animation that explores the effects of Eurocentric beauty ideals, as disseminated by mainstream media and advertising, on African women.
With a runtime of just under seven minutes, Mukii’s film highlights the dissatisfaction that some darker skinned women have with their complexions and the often harmful measures taken in their quest for a lighter skin tone, most notably through the use of skin bleaching products (known in Kenya as mkorogo). Yellow Fever also addresses the trickling down of these beauty standards through generations, with one particularly compelling moment within the film occurring when Mukii’s niece proclaims that she feels a certain discomfort with her dark skin every time she sees her reflection in the mirror…

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