Hungarian Woman's Blackface Project Added to a Problem She Looked to Help

Hungarian Woman's Blackface Project Added to a Problem She Looked to Help

Boglarka Balogh, a white Hungarian woman, has been causing a stir for her photo project in which she dressed up as eight Black women from different groups throughout Africa that are on the brink of "extinction."

Published January 7th

New year, new blackface stories to be outraged about.

Meet Boglarka Balogh, a white Hungarian woman who has been causing a stir for her photo project in which she dressed up as eight Black women from different groups throughout Africa that are on the brink of "extinction."

The project "I Morphed Myself Into Tribal Women To Raise Awareness Of Their Secluded Cultures" was uploaded in late December to the website Bored Panda and today was removed after backlash. 

The communities Balogh covered in the project included the Wodaabe, Daasanach, Arbore, Mursi, Turkana, Karo and Himba peoples, acccording to The Guardian.

"My intention was 100% pure with this tribal art, being a human rights lawyer and journalist who knows pretty much about racism and similar issues, I have never imagined that my work will annoy so many people and that I will have to explain myself," wrote Balogh after the post was removed.

Although she wanted to help keep these people from "fading away," her claims sound very Rachel Dolezal-esque. As someone who claims to be an ally to marginalized groups, she should know that inserting herself into their narrative by way of blackface is an obvious offense. Also, by not photographing the actual women she is attempting to portray, she was arguably adding to the erasure she says she wants to help end. 

Calling attention to a number of other factors, such as colonialism, pollution and globalization, would have been more effective. In the end, she received the attention she was looking for, but not in a good way.


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(Photo: Katalin Nagy via Twitter)

Written by Natelege Whaley

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